Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baking for teachers

Today's baking adventure?  In some ways it is not much of an adventure.  Making Lion House Rolls, although not quite as early in the morning as I usually do on a weekday.  With teaching, I put in some pretty long hours, and I was not out of bed before 5 this morning.  Of course, my 4 year old was up already  so he helped and that always adds to the adventure (in a good way)!

Today's baking is not for us.  We have parent-teacher conferences at the kids' school today.  They have a tradition of asking parents to provide potluck dishes for the teachers.  So this is our contribution.  All good fun.

Otherwise, food for the day is just "whatever".  Cereal for breakfast.  Not sure what others will have for lunch while I'm at work.  Pasta for dinner.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brief updates

Crepes for my 4 year old yesterday (and for the rest of us as well, although they were at the request of my 4 year old) and Lion house rolls made this morning which are serving as lunch for most of us (maybe Sherry) and as part of dinner with slow cooked ribs for the family this evening.  Good days for cooking.  Slow cooked ribs for dinner on a soggy day will be just right this evening.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A productive Sunday & Monday

On Sunday we had a great day in the kitchen.  We made a batch of mozzarella in the morning.  It turned out okay but not great.  It was not as soft as the best one I've made so far.  I did, however, leave the whey afterward to sit for 12 hours (as I'd found as a suggestion on a website by a chemistry professor somewhere) and then I cooked the whey a bit longer than usual as I set it cooking while reading bedtime stories to my 4 year old.  I used a reusable coffee filter to filter the whey and ended up with a great output of ricotta that tasted great. One of these times I'll get both the mozzarella and ricotta right.  Used milk from Chambersburg this time.  Comes in thick glass bottles with deposit and return.

Today, we made pretzels at breakfast time for lunch.  Served them with cream cheese or ricotta and jellies of various sorts.  Even made a braided soft pretzel or two.  Then, for dinner made pizza.  First time in a while that I was able to make the pizza with dough made at the time rather than making the dough early and refrigerating.  Made my kids happy with the quality.  Use the mozzarella and ricotta from Sunday on the pizzas and an organic pepper on one of the two.

Two great days in the kitchen.  Going to try to keep it up with my boys while teaching over the next eight weeks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Soft pretzels--boiled and baked

Serving soft prretzels hot off the pan after boiling and baking has won my sons over.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crepes and Pizza

Well, we have had a number  of adventures since my last post.  I tried cheese again on the morning of the half marathon.  Of the three recipes of cheese I've made so far, the one that I made at 4 in the morning on the day I ran the half marathhon was the best by far.  Perhaps I need to make it early in the morning again.  My 3rd attempt turned out a little soft, but my ricotta turned out better.

Today, we had cocoa crepes for breakfast.  Those were fund and also served as lunch for my older two boys.

For dinner, we had pizza.  I had made the dough this morning.  I could have cooked it thir morning too, but I have been generally unhappy with the consinstency of the pizza at dinner time if a cooked pizza is quickly putt in the fridge for the day.  So, I made the dough into the right shape, had Joshua a relatively small amount of sauce on, had Daniel put grated Parmesan on, and put our "spreadable mozzarella on and wrapped it in foil.  Since it took up the entire middle shelf in the fridge, Christopher used his Sharpee to write on in "Please don't crush me" and the pizza turned out to make a thick 16" pizza that fed my family of five for dinner.

What a blessing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Biscuits, cheese, and corn bread

Yesterday morning it was biscuits for breakfast.  Yesterday evening we made mashed potatoes with bacon and crab meat cooked mixed in.  Wow, was that good, especially with Old Bay sprinkled on top.  Last night the boys and I tried making cheese.  It turned out okay.  Main lesson--don't use ultrapasteurized milk.  We may try again today with just me and my four year old.  Finally, this morning making corn bread.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bright and early baking

I was up late reading and working last night.  So, this morning I didn't get out of bed till after 5.  I thought it was going to be raining, so I didn't plan to run.  I'll do a short run this evening.

In any case, looking ahead to a crazy day (with kids going to activities from when I drop them off at school this morning until after 6 tonight) I already have one thing in the oven and one thing ready to go.

What is in the oven?  Corn bread.  Plain and simple corn bread. Not pone.  Nothing else special.  Just corn bread--although still using meal from the local stone grinding mill.

What is ready to go?  A 16" extra cheese and pepperoni pizza?  It will have taken less than 1 hr 15 minutes from start to finish (except for cooling off) when all is said and done.  We'll see how it turns out.  Then, tonight we'll just microwave it for dinner.  Still should be good, and better than any local takeout option!

Just want to avoid those takeout options.  Too much $ and not really all that exciting in most cases.

Later this week--we'll try making homemade mozzarella on the day I'm home with Daniel!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another yummy morning--with a smoke detector incident...

Today, I got a "late" start. I was not up until almost 5 and not back from my run until 6. So, after a shower and giving my 4 year old a bath, I made crepes with vanilla in them for my sons' breakfast. I ate other stuff (including a banana for the potassium after my run). My 4 year old identified the vanilla flavoring without my even saying. It was pretty cool and the crepes turned out very nicely.

While making the crepes, I made a recipe of pone (essentially corn bread) that I mentioned once before.  It is quick--no yeast but does involve scalded milk which my sons helped with. This time I used "regular" corn meal rather than "roasted corn meal" and added just a little sugar. We'll see if my kids like the flavor better than when I made it with roasted corn meal. The smoke detector incident was that the batter nearly overflowed the dish in which I baked it. As a result, it was bubbling over a bit as it baked. And, when the little bit that bubbled over hit the bottom of the oven, it created smoke. I think that I have to check the smoke detector nearest the kitchen as it did not go off! But the upstairs smoke detector (one floor above the oven) did go off. We turned on the oven vent, we turned on the ceiling fan, and we even opened the kitchen window on this chilly morning. The kids tried to help the smoke dissipate near the smoke detector. It would stop--then it would start again. Over and over again in the last ten minutes of baking. For the final two minutes, my kids just gave up and I was worried a neighbor might call the fire department. Fortunately, no calls to the fire department. We'll see just how it tastes with ham at dinner!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Great morning in the kitchen

So, I began today with ann early dog walk, run, and quick shower.  After the shower, I entertained my 4 year old making pretzel dough.  When all was said and done we have about 20 pretzels.  We baked them in two batches--one with Old Bay that I took for lunch with students in my department and one with cinnamon and sugar that made a wonderful breakfast.  The boys were glad to help.  Christopher also started dinner for us all--simple pasta but it was a big help.  Goals are limited this week with Sherry being away.