Monday, January 6, 2014

And the arctic votex descends upon the Northwoods and the MadArt teacher cooks up a storm

OH my goodness, it is a tad chilly out there. I was fortunate enough to not have to venture out until late in the day, by virtue of the fact that I bribed the hubs with a hot breakfast, which resulted in him feeding the horse and me not having to go outside until the nighttime feeding!  I did tiptoe out a couple times, but those adventures did not last.

When I did go out, it was incredible how cold it was.  Even I, who ventures out with very little provocation, found an excuse to stay in.  The cold pierced right through my coat!  My hand that had held the feed bucket got so cold on the way to the mailbox I had to pull my fingers inside my glove.  Yikes. 

Oh well.  I didn't sleep very well last night, the house kept crackling and then I would wake up again, and I kept thinking that the furnace was going to quit or something.  Idk. I finally did get to sleep, but I slept in a bit today. My morning was unfocused- didn't know what to do with myself today. It took me a little while to get moving in a forward direction.  Shutterfly, the place where I get my calendars made, had a 101 free pix deal, so I took the time today to upload 101 pix mostly of family things.  I am thinking that I should get a few nice  big prints made of some of my pix, too.  Really Big ones.  The ones I had printed right after I got my camera are tragically over exposed.  Burn out.  I didn't know at the time what that was, but I do now and it bugs me.  So it's something I am thinking about.

We have another day off tomorrow, and I am looking forward to that as well. I will be getting to the gym though- no staying home all day.  

What I DID do today among other things is a lot of cooking!  It is relaxing and fun and now I have several things to have for lunch and/or dinner in the frig and freezer.  AND it also heats up the house very nicely to have the stove/oven/crockpot running all day.  

Here is round 1 of cooking:

Ruths's Refrigerator rolls

My aunt Ruth gave my mom the recipe for these things back in the day and they are fabulous and the cool thing- not that it directly affects me- is that they are milk free and so my sister Rose can make and enjoy these!  #ftw

2 cups of water
2 pkg yeast

Mix in large bowl  and add:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt 
3 cups flour (will be more flour to come)
I mix this with my Kitchenaid

Add :
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg

Mix well.  Add a little at a time-

3 - 3/12 cups flour 
 until dough forms a ball and it has mixed for a minute or two.  Or else dump it onto a floured counter and knead it for a 5 minutes to get the rest of the flour incorporated.

Cover  and refrigerate.  2 hours before needed, form rolls into balls and place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise and then bake 15 - 20 minutes in 375 degree oven.  Until they are nice and brown and sound hollow when thumped.  Remove from oven and brush tops with butter or margarine.

You can keep the extra dough for a few days, covered, in the refrigerator.

These are amazing and the extra dough will last a couple days in the frig so you can have fresh ones again!

Next up- Mushroom and Chickpea Ragout

This was so good I could hardly believe it.  It actually has some of the flavor components of a stroganoff with the worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.  It began life on Pinterest as Rosemary flavored, but I a. didn't have any and 2. don't care that much for rosemary.  So therefore my favorite herb- thyme- was pressed into service.

I got the original recipe here and it looked really great, but things were changed.....

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, fine dice
1/2 tsp dry thyme leaves
10 ounces/heaped half pound mixed mushrooms, sliced (I used all baby portabellas)
splash of red wine vinegar
1 tsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 can of chickpeas
1 cup vegetable stock
big splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk, I used coconut milk that I had left over in the frig
1 tsp cornstarch
salt + pepper
2 thick slices of good bread

Heat olive oil and saute onion in pan- on low heat, watch for scorching.  Sprinkle on thyme leaves until you can smell them, and then dump in the mushrooms.  Let them cook a few minutes until they begin to soften.  Add in your tablespoon or so of vinegar, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce.  stir around for a few minutes and add your chick peas.  Again let it mix together for a few minutes (stir to keep from burning), then add in vegetable stock.  Cook down until about 1/3 of the liquid is gone.  Add the coconut milk or what ever you want to use.

When it is starting to look thicker, mix a couple tablespoons of water with the cornstarch.  Stir into the chickpeas and let cook until thickened. Taste it and add salt and pepper. Mean while, toast the bestest bread you have and put it on a plate.  This is not the prettiest but the flavors are sublime and rich.  I think a touch of sour cream would be good, too.  But not necessary!  AND there are left overs.
So this is vegetarian/vegan and yummy!!  I used Ezekial bread for toast.
 And so I was thinking that a nice dessert was in order, so I made a variation on homemade Lara bars- sort of a several recipe mashup!

Chocolate Protein Balls

1package of dates
about 1/2 cup of raw almonds
1/2 cup hulled hemp seed (if no hemp seed, add more almonds)
3 heaping Tablespoons raw cacao (can use cocoa too)
water if necessary
mini chocolate chips

In food processor- process dates until a paste. Add water if you need to. Remove to a different bowl.  Add almonds to bowl and pulverize to a good powder and then add in hemp and cacao and process until well blended.  Add to dates and mix, sprinkle in water if you need to make it stick better.  Mix in mini chips.  Roll into balls and then I rolled it into more cacao powder.  YUMMY!!

The hemp seeds add an extra boost of protein, and they are just tasty!

HA but I'm not done yet!!  On to the next post!!  

Isn't that a joy?  Two food posts in one night??

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