Monday, October 24, 2011

My Week

Woo hoo what a roller coaster the last week has been! Hubby home from his latest trip to Guatemala, kids off from school for parent teacher conferences, in-laws visiting, the start of hockey games, and trying to begin clearing out the annuals from the garden and winterize the lawn have kept me super busy. I even managed to try out some new recipes, but unfortunately out of four tried in one day, only one was a stellar hit. On Thursday I made bread, sweet and sour green beans, fruit leather, and chicken nuggets. As has been the usual, the bread was good, but just not risen as much as I would like. I bought some vital gluten to try out this week that will hopefully solve that problem once and for all. My fruit leather was a disaster. Stuck to the parchment and burnt on the edges. I'm pretty sure I spread it out waaay too thin. I'm going to try the recipe here; posted by my current absolute favorite blogger The Morristribe. The homemade chicken nuggets were tasteless. I've made better a looong time ago so it's time to go digging in my hugamongous recipe stash to see if I can find that one. The green beans recipe was the only keeper that day. It is a wonderful combination of flavors. You can find the original recipe here. I made a couple of minor changes to suit what I had on hand. I had bacon already cooked and frozen so I used that which left me without drippings to cook the onions in. Luckily, we had purchased a half hog the day before which came with a generous supply of already rendered lard, so I used a small bit of that. I tend to shy away from canned goods due to BPA which left me without canned grean bean juice for the sauce. (I drained the frozen cooked ones before I realized I should have saved some of the water!) I had however purchased some canned chickpeas to try out in some hummus so I went ahead and cracked open one of those and used the liquid. (I have yet to make the hummus though...) I probably could have halved the sugar, but other than that these are great! Another way I like to do green beans, if you are in a particular rush, is to just add a splash of Italian dressing and crumbled bacon after boiling them. Cooking a couple of pounds of bacon at a time and keeping it in the freezer can be a great time saver and so much better than using those store bought bacon bits! I also tried what looks like a wonderful pita recipe from here. Unfortunately I started it on Friday afternoon, thinking that when it said 8 hours to 3 days to rise in the fridge that I could bake them on Sunday after all of our hockey and other weekend activities were finished. The dough rose faster than anticipated and was falling by late Saturday afternoon so it was discarded. I'll give it another try tomorrow. So, no real headway on my baking expedition, but I'm trudging onward.

Friday night my wonderful mother-in-law volunteered to stay home with the kiddos so that my husband could take me out on a date; the first in a very long time! We went to a Japanese steak house where they cook all of the food right in front of you and had a wonderful evening. Afterwards we explored a little Indian food grocer next door called Ambica Foods. What a great discovery! They carry many exotic vegetables and spices that would be such fun to experiment with. Anyone in the KC area that might be looking for a source of good, fresh spices, flours, grains, and exotic vegetables, I highly recommend checking them out! The address is 9054 Metcalf Ave, next to the Walmart market and across from Whole Foods.

Well, that's what I've been up to this week. Unfortunately it looks like our Indian Summer might be almost over. A cold front tomorrow is supposed to bring highs down into the fifties. Although the rain that is to accompany it will be very welcome, I will miss the gorgeous seventy and eighty degree days we have been having. We'll be back up into the mid sixties by the weekend though so hopefully I still have some time to wrap things up in the yard. I plan to welcome the cold and rain with some homemade chili. Hopefully that will make it a little less painful.

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