looking forward to homemade asparagus soup + perhaps a loaf of homemade bread. i am going to glance in the Saturday paper for any church rummage sales--they always have the best stuff, especially in older neighborhoods. watch some movies recorded long ago. and i've pulled out some music that i've missed listening to---St. Germain (Tourist) I could listen to Sure Thing featuring John Lee Hooker over and over and over again + Kronos Quartet (Pieces of Africa) takes me back to Halifax. and sometimes on grey weather days that is what i need.
be sure and experience a few "want to's" in with the "have to's".
the amazing beef rolls at the Peaceful Restaurant. iphones outnumbered chopsticks. sometimes dining out can feel like a collective piece of performance art.
the exuberant blossoms e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. i kept thinking i should take a photo every time i stepped out the door. i decided just to take it all in anew each time as if i hadn't seen it 5 minutes, an hour, a day ago.
Daiso. i was too busy getting lost in the mundane usefullness + uselessness of it all. this is not to say i won't share photos of what captured my toonies during this visit. i have been many times but i still enjoy rediscovering this Japanese dollar store every year.
Beautiful bread. a wonderful neighborhood bakery. sometimes smell is the best memory.
sometimes i want to be in the moment while it is happening.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a food blog! NEW craft projects are on the horizon. i've been tackling a major craft room makeover/do-over/switcheroo . 'til then we still gotta eat. and for me cooking is creative. so it all fits in here somewhere.
i am a fan of Jim Lahey's no knead bread and now his pizza dough has captured my attention.
last month's Bon Appetit magazine had a feature article on his pizza dough-so of course i had to try it.
this was my 3rd time making up a batch of the dough-and every time i have been pleased at how it has turned out.
and 'yes' the dough has an 18 hour 'waiting' period. and then a smidge more time added onto that.
i think the end result is totally worth the wait.
we've been freezing the pizzas and have found that they do freeze well. the recipe makes 6--- 10" pizzas, which is a lot for our small household, so freezing works for us.
pie shaping has never been my strength. luckily this does not affect the taste.
i suggest you tackle this with another person in the kitchen if you are baking all 6 pies in one 'session'. it can be challenging prepping, getting one pizza in the oven, taking a pizza out, waiting 5 minutes in between baking each pie so the oven can heat up again and maneuvering around 6 pizzas that have just come out of a 500 degree oven----no matter the size of your kitchen a second pair of hands is extremely helpful in this case. and given that each pie only bakes for 5-7 minutes this happens fairly quickly--so sign up a sous chef to help!
i make different kinds of lists in different kinds of notebooks.
this little notebook is where i organize my perpetual lists--i just keep adding things to it and crossing them off as they are done. if something needs to be done again, i jot it down again and cross it off again.
since i started doing this i get more things done. not sure why that is exactly. i have completed 1 of these books since i started jotting down my more mundane lists this way.
alphabet sorting---sorting leads to a lot of rediscovering
sorting through little boxes of number trim--i never tire of looking at these. they just make me happy. hopefully they will make our customers happy too (soon these will be available in their original boxes)
sorting through vintage velvet flora + fauna---one of my favorite things to sort + package. the workmanship of these is amazing-circa 1946.
(...awaiting 'to do' list designation)
these little notebooks with their sparkly covers + thick paper are a name brand that retails for $16. a bit 'dear' for a mundance to do list.
however, i scored them at the bargain shop for $2.
keep your eyes open + try perusing the stationery aisles at bargain shops for product 'seconds' or old product lines of reputable stationery companies.
several years ago i got the low-down from someone that the screen printing department at the university had a sale every year where every print was the same 'set' price and in limited edition runs. a super affordable way to collect some great art.
from the photo it is a bit difficult to see the beautiful color and details, the toothiness of the paper. but it is there i can assure you. i got some other larger pieces as well-- gorgeous saturated color, muted tones, serious subject matter. and sushi subject matter.
there is so much affordable art out there. start looking. stay alert. keep your ears open for the low-down.
(while out picking up brussel sprouts i got a little side tracked)
do you like brussel sprouts? i'm a little late to the brussel sprouts party, so i am making up for lost time. trim them up, slice them in half, place on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. add kosher salt + pepper. roast 'til done (not too long). delicious.
OR. trim. par boil (again, not too long 7-8 minutes). slice in half. toss in a baking dish (single layer). pour some heavy cream half way up the dish (maybe a 1/4" high). sprinkle with some cooked bacon. dust with buttered panko crumbs. bake 'til heated through + bubbly.
oh yes, side-tracked. the brussel sprouts store was right beside IKEA. the RASKOG trolley is identical to one i had seen in a magazine a few years back.
the components are fairly heavy and feel quite substantial, so i have hopes that it will be quite sturdy and not a flimsy piece of easy-to-put-together-furniture. need to actually put it together to give a final say. but it is looking promising.
more randomness, side tracking +things i saw + liked this week:
i think this community is onto something. when will the rest of us catch up? (thanks for sharing Molly)
the new covet garden is available to swoon over. and over. don't forget the back issues. i just found out today that the artist whose home was featured in issue 17 , Cybele Young, has a gallery show in my city until the end of the month. Check out the sculpture section of her website--intricate, tiny, teeny clothing. her work encompasses the minutest of details.
the door to my weekend opened here last night. shimmer + cupcakes. a perfect combination.
enjoy your weekend whether you spend it cooking a great meal, taking in a sunset or wielding an allen key.
Do not discount the seduction of FLAXSEED! These cookies are delicious. Not too sweet, with a lovely nutty flavor. Perfect with tea.
Oatmeal Flax Cookies
adapted from Bonnie Stern (this recipe is not in any of her cookbooks, but appeared in one of our national newspapers about 10 years ago)
Makes approx. 50 cookies
Allow 2 hours freezing time for the dough
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground flax
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flax seeds, whole or lightly crushed
Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter and white and brown sugars in a large bowl with electric mixer until light. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then add vanilla.
In another bowl, combine flour with ground flax and baking soda. Stir well. Add to batter. (This is a thick soft dough and my KitchenAid sometimes labors when mixing this part.)
Stir in rolled oats and flax seed (see above regarding the mixer...). At this point I sometimes dump the dough into a very large bowl and mix in the loose flour mixture that usually sits in the bottom of the mixing bowl with a large wooden spoon or by hand. It is a lot of dough, but it is not stiff.
Shape cookies into 2 logs approximately 2" x 12" and wrap tightly in parchment paper. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
Slice logs into 1/4" rounds and arrange on cookie sheets in a single layer. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on racks.
I usually can fit about 20 cookies per baking sheet. They do spread a bit while baking, so their sides will touch if putting this many on your baking sheet.
A coffee grinder can easily grind the flax seeds, but you can also find pre-ground flaxseed at the grocery store. I store mine in the refrigerator.
When I make the cookie logs for freezing I just flatten the logs off on all sides--the dough is soft at this stage and I find it easier to handle and to make the "sides" of the logs flat.
This recipe makes A LOT of cookies -luckily they freeze well.
Keep the cookie logs on hand in your freezer and just slice and bake a few as needed.
.....and if you are so inclined
i have been baking these cookies for at least 10 years and today was the first time i decided to 'chocolatize' a dozen. i did not hear any complaints.
I own all of Bonnie Stern's cookbooks -- she creates wonderful recipes that are FULL of flavor. She has written several Heart Smart cookbooks and they are some of the best cookbooks I own. The best. And I own a lot of cookbooks.