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Bread ’

A LOT of Food

PT had to work all weekend; luckily he could work from home, in front of football, but still. He spent the entire weekend in front of his computer, doing fancy TV producer work. In order to make that less sucky, I had a food plan.

Lentil Sloppy Joes!

Lentil Sloppy Joes!

It Tastes as Good as It Looks

It Tastes as Good as It Looks

A food plan that started with Lentil Sloppy Joes! I saw this recipe at No Meat Athlete. He’s got a lot of great vegetarian recipes that he tries and works through on his site, and this one had been on my radar for a while. The recipe, lovingly called Snobby Joes, is really easy and I basically just emptied my pantry into my wok. Some peppers, onions, lentils and spices! They were amazing! PT had two of them for lunch and another for dinner. I thought they were really flavorful; it’s easy to kick up the spices to make them spicier, or tone it down, and it can sit on your stove top all day for repeat visits.

Pizzas for Football Sunday

Pizzas for Football Sunday

Pizza Goodness!

Pizza Goodness!

A pretty standard meal on Sundays are these little homemade pizzas. Maybe standard isn’t the right word, because it implies a fall back. Our homemade pizzas are so delicious! Homemade crust, homemade sauce, caramelized onions, pineapple, roasted red peppers (and olives for PT) with a sprinkle of Parmesan! I still think we should go into business.

Baking Up A Storm

Baking Up A Storm

I went into crazed baking mode last night! I got an extra little gig helping organize the office of a restaurant in Wicker Park (oh the life of a freelance knitting teacher?) and I got home and decided I needed to make two batches of granola bars, more Tigers Suck Cookies (even though they had an off day yesterday! They kinda sucked it up this weekend), a loaf of pumpernickel bread, and zucchini pancakes!

Holy Baker!

Holy Baker!

I saw the zucchini pancake recipe at Sarah’s blog, and I’m so glad I did! I didn’t have the crystallized ginger, and I only used about a half a cup of olive oil and moistened it up a little more with some water, and these were so great!

Potatoes and Zucchini Pancakes

Potatoes and Zucchini Pancakes

They were so much sweeter than I expected them to be, being made of zucchini. But just like zucchini cakes or muffins, I don’t really know what the zucchini adds other than an excuse to eat more of them! Because it’s VEGETABLES!

And now I don’t have to bake again for the rest of my life. I’ve got cookies and granola bars enough to last me a while! I love that feeling.

Toilet Lid Cover Finished!

Goldfish? On My Toilet

Goldfish? On My Toilet

After putting this project on a mini hold for about a week and a half, I was reminded that Part One of the Goldfish Toilet Lid Cover Class is next week! So I buckled down and finished it and isn’t it hilarious?! It makes me entire bathroom happy.

The cover part is an easy knit. There are some short rows in there towards the bottom, but for the most part it knit up quickly and wasn’t boring.

The Goldfish Toilet Lid Cover pattern (a free knitpicks.com download) calls for dk weight yarn and size 6 needles. I thought knitting a toilet seat cover with dk weight yarn was completely ridiculous, so I rewrote the pattern as I was knitting it to use worsted weight yarn and size 4 needles. It’s a little snug on my seat, but I think size 5s would be perfect.

Fish? Kinda?

Fish? Kinda?

When I first looked at the pattern I just assumed that the fish would be intarsia-ed on. I hadn’t ever heard of duplicate stitching, much less done it before. I even googled it.

Duplicate stitching is just like cross stich! You just follow the stitches that already exist, and sew over them. It was easy!

The problem, however, is that when you use orange yarn instead of blue, and when you use whatever yarn scrapes are laying around instead of fish colors, the fish doesn’t end up looking like a fish. I thought when I started the pattern that it looked like Wilson from Cast Away, and PT thought it looked like Pikachu. The consensus now is that it’s a dog-like Pokemon. So I have a dog-like Pokemon toilet lid cover. I’m ok with it.

There is still room in the class! Interested? Sign up! Email me.

Fruity Lunch

Fruity Lunch

There Are Oats in There Somewhere

There Are Oats in There Somewhere

I’ve been talking a lot about all the vegetables in my house, but I’ve got a lot of fruit, too. PT and I got half a bushel of apples, 1/4 a bushel of peaches, grapes and pears while we were in Michigan!

I had the most amazing oat bowl for lunch today, with peaches and grapes and apples, my mom’s granola, extra raisins, and a piece of the pumpernickle bread I made with crunchy peanut butter.

Those peaches are out of control.

Peach Pancakes and Potatoes

Peach Pancakes and Potatoes

I made peach pancakes the other night. Peaches baked into the pancakes, with peaches sauteed in butter and brown sugar on top. Peaches can go in anything. And thank god because I’ve got a million of them!

Veggie Pasta Done Right Recipe

There are so many vegetables in my house right now I’m losing track of them! I set a bag of onions in the pantry that needed to be cleaned and just completely forgot about it. Last night I found them swarming with fruit flies and the skins covered in mold. I just cleaned them off and peeled a few layers off. I will smell like onions for the rest of the day, but I saved those onions!

Veggie Pasta Ingrediants

Veggie Pasta Ingredients

My favorite go-to recipe when I have a ton of vegetables is a big veggie pasta dish.

Ingredients (for 2):

4 oz dry pasta

1/4 small can of tomato paste

1/3 huge can of tomatoes (diced, stewed, whatevs)

A splash of olive oil

Onion to taste (I use a whole onion, or half of a monster onion because I love onion)

Garlic to taste (I use two cloves because I love garlic)

Seasonings – I use fennel seeds, fresh cracked pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Veggies – I used fresh corn on the cob, baby bellas, and zucchini, but anything you’ve got works!

Since I had that corn, I shucked it and threw that on the grill pan right away. Zucchini takes a little while to cook, so I heated some oil in my wok, sliced up the zucchini, and got that cooking, too. The veggie cook times will vary depending on what you are using. If I had broccoli instead of zucchini I would wait until I threw my pasta in boiling water before starting to cook it.

While the zucchini and corn got a head start, I chopped my mushrooms and onion. I started boiling some water and threw in the onions with the zucchini, because that takes a little while to get soft, too.

I threw in the pasta and set the timer for 7 minutes. I threw the chopped mushrooms in with the zucchini and onion. The corn was done grilling so I took it off the grill pan and let it cool a little.

Corn Slicer

Corn Slicer

My mom picked up a couple of these corn slicer things that looked pretty silly in the package, but look at that! It totally worked. It cut the corn right down to the core, too; I always have trouble leaving too much corn on the core when I try to slice it off with a knife. As silly as this thing is, it worked, and I got a ton more corn than I would have had I tried to slice it myself with a knife. Silly gadget success!

I threw the corn in the wok, too, along with the garlic.

When there were about 3 minutes left for the pasta I dumped in the tomatoes, the tomato paste, and the seasonings and mixed it all together. When the pasta is done I drained it and added it to the wok and mixed it all up, too.

OOOooo

OOOooo

AAAAhhhh

AAAAhhhh

I let mine sit on the stove top for a few minutes to work together the spices and burn off some of that extra tomato liquid. I hate extra tomato liquid.

Dish it up! Grate some parmesan over the top and in about 20 minutes you’ve got a fresh pasta dish for two that doesn’t even use canned pasta sauce. The only way to get this more healthy is to can your own tomatoes and make your own tomato paste, which I haven’t quite gotten to yet.

Still, this is pretty close to a perfect meal.

LOVE the Bread Maker

LOVE the Bread Maker

Bread?

Bread?

I also had a chance to attempt making pumpernickel in the bread maker. I say attempt because I have trouble making bread. It’s an illness.

I thought I messed this up, too! I’ve never made pumpernickel before, but all the other breads I’ve made in the bread maker have needed 2-4 oz more water than the recipe calls for. So I added 2 more oz of water!

It was so watery, I really didn’t think it was going to turn out at all.

Delicious Pumpernickel Sandwich!

Delicious Pumpernickel Sandwich!

But it worked! I’m going to take out those extra 2 oz, though, because it deflated a little, but it made an amazing tomato sandwich this afternoon!

It is so nice having so many vegetables around! There are so many meal options at every turn!

Goodbye Movies in the Park, Hello Minnesota!

Last night was the last movie in Grant Park. I’m always sad when this rolls around because it is the first sign that summer is winding down.

I Take a Picture of Brijeet Taking a Picture of Gil and Martin

I Take a Picture of Brijeet Taking a Picture of Gil and Martin

But we won’t think about that now. We can’t! Not when Tootsie is playing, and every 10th person in the audience is dressed in drag, it’s 85 sunny degrees, and Rikkisha brings the most decadent, amazing pecan bars I’ve ever tasted. Gil, Martin, Brijeet, Rikkisha, PT and I got a slightly poop-filled spot in anticipation of Dustin Hoffman dressed as a woman. I can’t think of a better reason to sit in poop!

Me and PT

Me and PT

Tootsie was a lot of fun. Everyone was really into it! Which I love about Movies in the Park.

We were already trying to guess next year’s line-up.

Log Cabin Washcloths

Log Cabin Washcloths

I finished up my second washcloth at the movie, too! Didn’t these turn out cute? The knit up really quick and I love how they look. I like the alternating colors on this set of two. I have a feeling these will be big in Holiday Present Prep class this fall!

So now I’m chilling, watching the Tigers try to sweep the Angels, waiting for my laundry to come out of the dryer so I can pack for Minnesota tomorrow! PT and I have big plans for the Twin Cities; like a Twins game and the Minnesota State Fair! I can’t wait.

Big Mess

Big Mess

I’m also tackling focaccia. Yeah, it seems silly to be baking the day before leaving for the weekend, but PT’s friend Chris is coming over for dinner tonight, so we will have some help. His fiance Anne is in Minnesota, and we were worried he would be eating baked beans out of a can without her.

And I saw this focaccia recipe this morning and if Chris wasn’t coming over tonight I would be making some excuse about how Pudge Rodriguez likes bread. Seeing those pictures, how could you not run home and try to make it?

So far so good; you know how I have trouble with bread, so I followed this recipe to a T. I even pulled out my food thermometer to make sure the water was exactly 115 degrees. It’s rising! I hope it’s amazing because I certainly love focaccia.

Lots of Sammys

Don’t you hate when you run out of bread? I make my own bread so you would think this would happen to me rarely, but last night I found myself with a mad cheese craving and no bread.

So I threw some ingredients in the bread maker, and 3 hours and 20 minutes later I knew I would have some delicious honey grain bread. Until then, I needed cheese in meal form, which is hard to come by with no bread.

Cheese and crackers really isn’t a meal; I could have cooked up some cheesy pasta but I wasn’t really feeling that, either. What I wanted was a fatty grilled cheese sandwich with some fancy Dubliner cheese.

Mini Sammies

Mini Sammys

Then I remembered the bag of frozen English muffins in the fridge that PT and I made ages ago that I always forget about. I dug out four plain ones (cheese and cinnamon raisin English muffins didn’t sound appealing), defrosted them, covered them in butter and threw them in a hot pan. I made an only Dubliner cheese one, a Dubliner cheese and zucchini one, a Swiss, zucchini, and mushroom one, and a cheddar and mushroom one. I just kept them on there until the cheese melted, which was hard because I was really excited.

Yummy

Yummy

To say these turned out well is an understatement. The mushroom and cheddar one was out of this world and I should have made another one of those. The one I was most looking forward to, the just Dubliner cheese one, was my least favorite. STILL amazing, but, after eating the rest of them with the veggies cooked perfectly in the melty cheese! It just didn’t have enough going on.

Seriously.

Seriously.

I was thinking about how much work making those English muffins was, and it was a lot of work. An entire afternoon’s worth of rising and kneading and cutting and rising and babysitting and frying and cooling and dusting. But I would make them again just so I could have these sandwiches at my disposal always. It just wouldn’t be the same, I don’t think, cutting up regular bread into little squares and making them that way.

Sammy

Sammy

Then I went to Margie’s with Sam, who’s place of employment just went under. Confused about the future? Feeling like no one will ever love you? Go to Margie’s Candies!

I tried to convince Sam to start a blog about all the internet dating he does, but separated into two identities: Douche Sam, who takes out Wrigley sluts, and Regular Sam, who takes out the nice, literary types. It would be hilarious! For me. It would totally be optioned into a movie or an HBO series.

(If you are looking for a nice boyfriend with a nice dog, also named Sammy, and you don’t have a peg leg, email me and Sam will be your boyfriend)

I got the turtle sundae that I ate too fast to take a picture of. It came, I inhaled it, I gave the rest of my hot fudge to Sam so he could mix it in his cookies and cream shake.

‘This is going to hurt later,’ Sam said.

‘I’m counting on it.’

And it did.