Posts tagged ‘baking’

Weird things I like/don’t like

LIKE

1. Organic Milk. 2%.

This isn’t that weird — except for the fact that I’m craving non-raw milk right now. Maybe it’s the consistency of raw that is turning me off. The first few cups of raw milk are practically cream; the last few cups are like drinking skim ::vomit::  Sometimes the place I buy my raw milk runs out, which is how we’ll end up with a gallon or two of organic, and I’m totally hoarding it.

2. Nonfiction.

I just finished Orange is the New Black and it was the best book I’ve read in a long time. Which is really saying something when you consider that I probably read two books per week. Another recent nonfiction winner? Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. I’m on a wait list for the Oprah bio; I can’t wait for that one either. Along with The Imperfectionists, which is supposedly creative non-fiction.

3. Baking.

I love to cook, that’s not a secret. Baking has never been my thing because it’s so scientific; you really can’t play around with it. You can see or taste if you put in too much flour or not enough baking soda *Not that I would ever do that. Perhaps baking is appealing to my current control-freak tendencies, leading us to #4…

4. FlyLady

Yes, that evil witch with her stupid fairy wings and lace-up shoes — and her ridiculously clean house. I’m trying to form a long-lasting relationship with my “swish-and-swipe” routine. FlyLady is probably improving my marriage: she has taught me that expecting My Chemical Romance to do all the dishes is futile; six people plus a Dog Without a Downside use more plates and bowls than one person can keep up with. Even when using that modern convenience called a dishwasher — and we always use a dishwasher. I am morally opposed to washing dishes by hand. It is perhaps the one way in which I’m totally not-crunchy.

5. My Sixth Sense for Pregnancy

Recently I’ve noted that two women were pregnant long before they even announced it. One, I realized it on the very day she peed on a stick. Another was from a Face*book status. I thought it was abundantly clear to everyone who read it, but so far I’m the only one who has even guessed. Clearly I’ve got some ESP going on with my fellow breeders.

DON’T LIKE

1. Fiction

Oh, whine. If I pick up one more book that involves a “birth gone wrong” scenario, I’m going to live webcam my homebirth so that people can see that birth is normal. Seriously, even that bestseller that I waited on a library lists for months for, The Postmistress, somehow brought in a HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORY. The most frustrating thing is trying to find a book that (1) is well-written (2) doesn’t involve HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORIES (3) is well-written. Seems like you get either well-written or you get normal birth/no birth.

2. My therapist

Actually, I love her. Possibly too much; I want to know how much longer therapy is going to continue. I started seeing her because I needed a note from a psychologist clearing me for weight-loss surgery; two years later I’m skinny and still problem-plagued. At least in my mind. But having a therapist is a bit of a crutch for me: I use her to gauge where I am, and I need to trust myself to gauge where I am. She says I’ve made progress. Eh, I probably have, but who’s to say I wouldn’t have progressed on my own without her and her $10 copay?

3. Pregnancy brain

What was I just typing about? Where am I? What time is it? I got on this computer to do something, and now I find myself doing something completely different with absolutely no recollection of what I am supposed to be doing, and a vague sense that I’m forgetting something important when I go out in public, like my purse. Or a bra.

4. The Library’s New Hours

Or lack thereof. Due to city budget cuts, my local library is currently open four days per week, two of those days only until 5pm. All I want to do is read (nonfiction; or well-written fiction about non-breeders) and I get agitated when I realize it’s going to be three days before I can even browse paperbacks again. The next closest library is 20 minutes away.

5. The Heat.

GO. AWAY. Seriously.

July 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Tweaking Out

No, not me. I’m fine. I’m actually better than fine lately — I’m past exhaustion. I can actually function reasonably well, and my brain cells seem to be regenerating. Who knew? The biggest problem I’m having is global warming. Screw the conspiracy theorists; my breasts could melt icecaps right now. The weather is making my lose my mind: it’s hot and humid and sticky. As Wii would say, The local infrastructure is not equipped for these extremes in temperature; I cannot get my weak A/C’ed house — with it’s entirely-east-or-west-facing windows — below 78* which just plain sucks. Pregnant or not!

I’m tweaking my vitamins around a little bit, trying to get my levels up as high as I can get them without poisoning myself. For example, I take 200,000 IU of vitamin A per day. That’s toxic for the average person who hasn’t had a biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. Meanwhile, my A-range is low/average. I’m adding some helpful-for-pregnancy supplements like Red Raspberry Leaf, Chlorophyll, Stinging Nettles, and Alfalfa. I’m also trying to keep my pills below 60 per day — I have a hard time when I take more than five doses a day. I’m in touch with my surgeon, as well as VitaLady — yes, that’s her actual name — for input on my lab results. I have labs drawn every three months. It’s like sixteen vials of blood; some of them are light-sensitive so they have to be wrapped in medical-grade tin foil, some of them are heat-sensitive so they immediately go on ice, some of them have to be taken in weirdly-shaped tubes. Whenever I go in and hand the order to the tech, she always looks at me like, Seriously?!?!?!  I wanted to spend my day handing out urine cups and reading InStyle.

I’m back to cooking, thank gawd. I thought we would all starve. I have no idea how we spent years with My Chemical Romance in charge of the kitchen. We ate a lot of tacos. Last night I made slow-cooker chicken with dumplings; I had marinaded the chicken overnight in homemade Italian dressing and made the Cream of Chicken soup from another recipe rather than using the stuff out of a can. It cooked for about eight hours and the chicken fell apart it was so tender. The kids, of course, hated it, particularly Mineral. He was deeply offended that his chicken collapsed. I have no problem with my children not eating their dinner, but I hate when they insult my cooking. Making Cream of Chicken soup is not easy; marinading in homemade dressing takes time and effort. And yet, they’d be happy to eat fast food or something frozen you stick in the microwave. I love cooking. When I have time to myself, I like to cook or bake without interruption; I find it very soothing to create something. I find that especially true with baking. We are regular Cost*co shoppers and most of the samples are microwavable food. I remember once the spokeswoman was saying, “breakfast burrito, ready in 60 seconds or less!” and I thought, How good can it taste if it only takes 60 seconds to cook?!?!? I’ve become a slow-cooking snob.

July 28, 2010 at 9:36 am 3 comments

Dear Cake: You win. (I’ll eat you anyway.)

I have a new nemesis. Forget my crazy neighbor; it is much more devious and complicated than him. It is this — Ice Cream Roll Cake.

Don't I look easy?

I made it last night for The Informant’s birthday party, and I made it again today for her actual birthday, and both times I totally screwed it up.

Which brings me to the following Personal Truth: I can cook; I cannot bake.

In my defense, baking is not like cooking. Cooking is roses and hearts and cute little puppies. Baking is more like cleaning my German grandmother’s house: it requires precision, elbow grease, and a lot of time squinting unhappily.

My Chemical Romance loves baking. This is probably because baking is a chemical science.

Here is the actual recipe (along with my commentary):

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated (separated? into what? how many?)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cake flour (used “organic pastry flour” and hoped for the best.)
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups ice cream, softened
  • CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk, heated to 160 degrees F
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease and flour paper; set aside. (What I did: put 2 eggs in each cup of my bra and prayed that nobody wanted a hug.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high for 3 minutes or until lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating until thick and pale yellow. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder; gradually add to egg yolk mixture Beat on low until well mixed (mixture will be thick). (What the recipe gods meant to say was, ‘mixture will resemble chocolate flavored cement.’)
  3. In another large mixing bowl and with clean beaters (do not use tongue), beat egg whites and salt on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites. (Hope you have strong arms for this part!)
  4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. (As evenly as you can spread chocolate cement mixed with beaten egg whites.) Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel (cloth diaper) dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  1. Unroll cake (watch cake fall entirely apart); spread with ice cream to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up again (while ice cream oozes out all sides of totally fallen-apart cake). Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until serving. CURSE REPEATEDLY.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Gradually add warm milk and sugar; stir constantly for 5 minutes or until completely dissolved. Serve with cake.

Yesterday, I had a giant burrito with ice cream inside. Imagine the outside is chocolate cake, and the inside is a burrito (and there’s chocolate/fudge sauce on top)

A tasty dessert!

Today I got… the opposite. (My Chemical Romance: “What’s the opposite of a burrito? A sandwich? A fish? I’m confused.”)

More like a flauta. Skinny, anemic-looking, pathetic — and of course falls apart, just like the burrito version.

I am not an improvement.

I am not an improvement.

Still, I can’t deny that both cakes taste good but ever since I started watching Top Chef on Bravo, I actually care about presentation.

For dinner, I am making Garlic Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups, which my friend Paul says look like ZhuZhu pets.

Who's hungry?

March 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm 1 comment


About Mommy Soup

Wife and homeschooling mom of five, including my Christmas Day homebirth baby. Not Catholic, Amish, or quiverfull; we just like to... you know!

Writing about my interests: natural pregnancy and birth; attachment parenting; cooking; baking; homeschooling; green living; human rights; child passenger safety; dog training, and life after weight-loss surgery.

In my free time I try to figure out how I can promote world peace while wasting time on Facebook.

NaNoWriMo 2010

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