Saturday, January 19, 2008

Does ANYONE Have a Clothespin???

For all of y'all out there who think I don't make mistakes cooking or everything I do turns out purrrrfect you are sadly mistaken. I have as many f*ck-ups as I do successes. What is life without setbacks??? BORING I SAY!!! This afternoon I placed my garlic in the oven to roast for my pizza tonight. I then proceeded to put some walnuts in a pan to toast slightly so I could sprinkle them over the apple pie pizza. I then continued over to my laptop on my kitchen counter and proceeded to read ALL of YOUR blogs. You know who you are. I was so engrossed in Wedding Planning and Football Games w/no alcohol that I completely let MY NUTZ BURN!!!! And as any man can tell you, it is no good when your nutz are burning. I kept smelling something god awful but did I turn away from the blogs I was reading???? NO. Finally I said to myself.....SELF, something does not smell right. I kept thinking it was my garlic because I completely BLANKED that I put nutz on. Burnt nutz are one of the most hideous smells. Thankfully there are woods right off my deck so I could chuck the nutz. My house smells as if you are sitting around a campfire in one of those native islands where the men wear those long sticks on their dong dongs and we are burning monkey bones to sacrific to the Gods. I need a clothespin for my nose.
Oh and my sourdough starter blew up all over my fridge because I got cocky and added 1 cup of flour and water instead of the 1/2 cup it called for. I tend to do that once in awhile. Get too big for my britches as one would say. Cocky should be my middle name.

Friday, January 18, 2008

In Honor of Chicken and Rosemary POTATO Pizza This Weekend

This qualifies as a food posting in my rule book due to the fact these are "Potato Heads". It should come as no surprise that my love of food spills over to other parts of my life. My favorite toy of all time is the Potato Head. My children have 2 buckets of them and we play with them all the time. This is of course me on the left.

My Lil' Taters

Potato Heads have come a long way through the years with their new and improved longer does Mrs. Potato Head have to settle for plain ol' Mr. Potato Head. She can have her pick of Firefighter Potato Head or Rock Star Potato Head, even Happy Birthday Potato Head. I think Potatoes themselves have come along way too. No longer do we have to settle for lumpy mashed potatoes. We can roast them with herbs and olive oil, we can bake them off and top them with cheese and veggies, we can boil off some baby reds and smash them with a tub of herbed cream cheese. One of my favorite ways to serve mashed potatoes is to stir in some shredded Asiago cheese and a couple of tablespoons of sundried tomato pesto. Potaotes are so good for you, full of potassium. So when you find yourself getting bored with plain ol' Mr. Potato Head go ahead and stir in some pesto, herbed cream cheese or a little asiago and you will find you have rediscovered Mr. Potato Head all over again.

Boy, I must really be hurting for material here!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Basic Economics.....I NEED THIS

One of the most basic concepts of economics is want vs. need.
What are they exactly? A need is something you have to have, something you can't do without. A good example is food. If you don't eat, you won't survive for long. Many people have gone days without eating, but they eventually ate a lot of food. You might not need a whole lot of food, but you do need to eat. A want is something you would like to have. It is not absolutely necessary, but it would be a good thing to have. A good example is music. Now, some people might argue that music is a need because they think they can't do without it. But you don't need music to survive. You do need to eat.
Now that we have cleared this up.....onto bigger and better things.
I had another lightbulb moment this morning.....I know, I know....lately there have been so many it is no wonder I am still standing upright. I am a phenomenon. Kind of like when that lady claimed she saw the Mother Mary burnt into the cinnamon bun in Memphis or Nashville or somewhere and they kept the bun in the case for all to look at this wonderful phenomenon. Or the time Jesus' face was burnt into the flour tortilla and they opted to not make a quesadilla out of it. They put it in a case for all to see. I guess I am not nearly as cool as that. Anyway....the mind wanders....the thoughts come....and voila.....Apple Pie Pizza. We have been making pizza every weekend now with the BGE. It truly creates a pizza worth of CPK (california pizza kitchen) or anyone that has a $50,000 brick oven. After my post yesterday about the cinnamon schmear, of course I wanted to make bread or buns, but kept myself from doing so because I knew I would be making pizza this weekend and we went out last night etc. so I don't want to overdo on the carbs. I really wanted the cinnamon schmear. So this weekend I am going to make a roasted garlic w/chicken and rosemary potato pizza with a white wine butter sauce and I am going to make a pizza schmeared with the cinnamon schmear and then top it off with apples sauteed in brown sugar, some vanilla and probably a little cinnamon maple syrup and a sprinkle of walnuts then drizzle some cream cheese/pwder sugar glaze after it comes off the BGE. APPLE PIE PIZZA!!! I know others have done dessert pizzas before me but I bet none of them have used the cinnamon schmear as the base or the sauce as you will. GENIUS, GENIUS, GENIUS!!!!
Last night was date night w/hubby: Crew Restaurant--I had iced tea, deep fried crab ravioli on a bed of fresh spinach w/jalapeno jelly dipping sauce and a salad with roasted chicken and mixed greens. We also shared a pecan tart w/a scoop of vanilla. The pecan tart created a huge discussion on Pee-CAN vs. Pecan......I say both.....whatever comes out of my mouth. I say it both ways. My husband only says he has a clue anyway....he can't even make a PB&J.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cinnamon Schmear Another One of My Favorite Things

Okay, so who says that Oprah gets to own "Favorite Things". I know we have talked about some of my fav's in the past.....Torani Syrups, Tomato paste in a tube, The Big Green Egg but this little brown bag from King Arthur Flour has got to be a staple in anyones home if you love cinnamon. I LOVE CINNAMON. I just happened upon this product. No one recommended this. I was looking to buy the finest cinnmon in the world.....vietnamese cinnamon. King Arthur Flour carries it in their store in Vermont and also does mailorder. Also, if you bake and don't get this catalog go to Now, I know you are saying to yourself....I can buy flour, extracts etc. in the store why would I mail order flour. Some stores do carry their items but definately not all of their items. Their flour in my opinion is one of the best to bake with. The one item I have never seen anywhere is the "cinnamon filling". You get a 24 oz. bag for $5.95 which is enough to make several batches of buns or 4 loaves or so of bread. You mix 1/4 c. of mix with 1 tablespoon of water......THAT'S IT. It makes this gloopy gloppy schloppy wonderful cinnamon schmear. You just spread on your dough and bake. It will be better than any cinnamon bread or bun you have ever made yourself. It is truly bakery stays thick and moist. I have to pace myself or I would eat a whole loaf of this stuff. I cheat and buy frozen bread dough from schwans....thaw in the fridge overnight.....pull it out to rise.....roll it out....schmear it on and bake for 40 minutes. Shipping is only like $5.95 also so it is worth trying. You won't regret it and if you do I will send you a check for $5.95 less shipping and handling. What are you waiting for??? GO ORDER IT NOW!!!!!!!!! This stuff is soooo good that one of the girls that babysits for us on our date night requires this cinnamon bread as payment and will except NO MONEY. THAT IS HOW GOOD IT IS!!!
Sourdough starter update: Sourdough starter is looking good. Had my first signs of hooch yesterday which is a good thang. We are going on 3 days today. I feed it everyday at 4:00. In about a week we will be looking at making sourdough bread bowls to fill with some kind of homemade soup. Who's coming for supper??

Monday, January 14, 2008

Barista Bennies=Happy Momichka

Our oldest son Ben has been a Barista for Barnes and Noble since we moved to AR. He just started a new job last week as a Barista for Starbucks. Yesterday he comes home from his job and there is a brand new box of Tazo passion fruit tea on the counter. Son is nowhere to be seen. I think to myself......hmmm how nice. My son brought me a present home from work. I raised such a thoughtful young man....tears welling up in my eyes. I call him on his cell phone to thank him, meanwhile asking first where the tea came from. His reply "You get something free each week you work there so I picked out tea for myself". He picked out tea for HIMSELF.......there blew my theory of thoughtful young man. Meanwhile the selfish little hamster in my head gets on his little wheel and the thoughts start rolling. hmmm something FREE EACH WEEK....what is in it for ME. I mean I did raise him, I pay his college tuition, the least he could do was cough up a pound of coffee. So my wonderful son has agreed to grab me a pound of coffee at least once a month so now I don't have to buy coffee. Although, Starbucks is not my favorite, Caribou Fireside blend is, FREE IS MY FAVORITE.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sour-dough'in Hoochie Mama

I had one of those "lightbulb" moments today. They just come in randomly. Are they really "lightbulb" moments??? I don't know. I will just all of a sudden have an idea come to me for no reason. Idea=lightbulb in my head of unorganized thoughts.

Sourdough Starter
What comes to mind is Bread.....sourdough bread, but there are a plethora of other things you can make with it. Pancakes, cookies, muffins, cakes, biscuits etc. It is really a very interesting thing.....this starter. I was talking to my dad and apparently there are bakeries out there that have been using the same starter for over a 100 years. They just keep feeding it. Sourdough starter is a "living" thing. I started reading about it today on some different sites and decided to start some starter, if that makes sense. You have to feed it every 24 hours for the first week and then once it is established you can just feed it once a week, or put back as much as you use when you use it. You start with one cup of flour and one cup of water and put it in a crock or a canning jar. Each day you take half out and replace half for the first week. You can use a little yeast to get it going but it states REAL sourdough snobs wouldn't hear of it. I think I am going to try it both ways just to make sure at least one turns out. Once it is established, aside from feeding it once weekly the only other issue is "hooch". Hooch is a layer of watery liquid (often dark) that contains alchohol. It smells a bit like beer, because it is a bit like beer - but don't drink it! Hooch builds up in your starter, especially in the fridge. Just pour it off or stir it back in. It doesn't hurt anything. If your starter is looking dry, stir it back in. If your starter is plenty wet, pour it off. Just remember that hooch is nothing to worry about! It also states that once it is established it is almost impossible to kill off......even if you forget to feed it weekly. Which for someone who owns NOT one houseplant due to untimely deaths this is a good thing. And also anything that has the name "hooch" in it is alright with me......sounds like we are doing something illegal. It also feels very Little House on the I should break out an Amish Bonnet or something. This could be life changing.....this could revolutionize the way I bake. Or it could just blow up in my face and not work at all.