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Everything posted by lovebenton0

  1. we are back from our venture into town. as long as we were walking it seemed a shame not to incorporate a little grocery supply trip into our morning. our flat is downtown kenosha, one block off lake michigan. i can no longer drive, haven't for years. quinn is my vehicle, so to speak, my backpack is my trunk. makes a small trunk, but we walk everywhere at this point. still haven't expanded to figuring out the bus system yet. first we hit the little deli about six blocks from us. a bit skimpy on mondays, but we scored some cheese and good looking proscuitto, no fresh produce until tomorrow. they don't carry much produce, but she promised i could get some bell peppers then. that's a major change for me. after living in tx for so many years i now have to depend on some frozen vegs during the winter because i can't get the fresh produce home from the big grocery store without freeze-wilting it. i miss the farmers' market during the winter. then we walked over to our emergency supply stop - the walgreens downtown. when walking is your mode of transportation you learn a lot about your neighborhood. surprisingly great place to pick up milk, dried fruit, coffee, cereal, even canned crab and shrimp, some baking supplies. today we got a few things... i love dried cherries, cranberries and raisins. these are staples for me and they were all on sale. the pretzels must have fallen into my basket. soup plans coming up and some bread stuff to look at. my camera is charging and i'm eating oatmeal w/dried cherries.
  2. good morning to all and a chilly morning it is here. not too bad, 18f with windchill running about 5f. more snow the last few days so we are more than ready for soup this week. first let me apologize for the lower case, both hands/wrists are in very stiff braces right now, making the shift key a literal pain to deal with, so please bear with me. to start off in a very normal way, quinn, my assistant, slipped off to the living room early this morning and has slept in, allowing me to do the same. yes, we are known to do so on cold mornings. quinn, catching a morning nap before coffee and our walk so i started some coffee. i also love my little french press, but when i need it now and hot this is the way i go. the mega cup seemed appropriate for the day. here's quinn about ready to go... balance harness, service dog vest, just needs his boots. and saying he needs to go now... so we'll come back for a late breakfast and soup plans for the day in a bit.
  3. lovebenton0

    Cooking in Clay

    while poking around for some interesting kitchen gadgets i snagged a romertopf at the local thrift store for 5 bucks. the bottom reads... w-germany 110. looks like a small, maybe a 2 quart equivalent. not sure. i've wanted one for a long time and have not invested, then this just leaped into my cart yesterday. i cleaned it with water and an eraser sponge thing to get the store must and dust off of it. yep, it has some seasoning to it, but i gave it a solid whiff test and there's no fish smell, so i think i'm set to experiment. now, what to do first.... maybe pick up a chicky and try that. any suggestions out there... i'm listening.
  4. oh my, your thai meals look fabulous. i hesitated to post my thai throw together dinner from this weekend... but not all good food is planned ahead and this one was good. i rediscovered a bit of green curry paste i'd stuck away in a canning jar and had to have it. so... digging around the fridge and pantry i ended up with green curry cooked in coconut milk, nam pla, crabmeat, sliced onion and carrot sauteed and tossed with chunked pineapple in chicken stock with bean thread noodles. no pics, although it was actually pretty in a large soup bowl. i do miss growing and eating those little eggplants now that it's winter and we've relocated from central tx to wisconsin.
  5. i have a no knead loaf of sourdough/light rye onion bread, with carraway seeds, on second rise at the moment. should be ready to bake about 6pm or so. i've had great success with the no knead bread and use my sourdough barm almost every time instead of yeast. i do usually carmelize the onions first before adding to first mix of dough, but this time i decided to try grating the onions into the dough. i'll let you know how that turns out.
  6. wow, it's been a year... thought i'd bump this up for a quick update and suggestion for those of us that love to make bread, but are having trouble getting that kneading done. update first... i'm in wisconsin now, on lake michigan with my service dog quinn. that's us in the avatar shortly after the big move from texas this july. we have snow now, but we're loving it up here and with quinn i'm able to get out to walk to the deli and market on my own. that's an incredible improvement. now for the suggestion... i've made bread for mumble mumble 35 plus years. i started having too much trouble kneading bread this fall. turns out i've got a severe case of carpal tunnel and kneading is not on my list of doables in a brace 24/7 right now. snowangel mentioned the minimalist/no knead bread thread to me. this is a major step beyond the old batter breads i learned as a young teen and i'm in love. i've been making my bread using this method exclusively for the past few months. there's been lots of action on that thread, hope some of you will get a chance to try out the no knead method. i've been incorporating my sourdough barm/starter into the method and find i can do almost anything with this. it really has saved my hands and my daily bread.
  7. i made the les halles mushroom soup on friday night, first time. started it in the afternoon for an early dinner because grandson was coming for a popcorn/movie evening. they dropped him off an hour earlier than planned, so the mushrooms slowly simmered for about three hours in my homemade chicken stock instead of one hour. also, i had no fresh parsley and the walk to the store and back with a bunch would have resulted in frozen parsley, so i used a leafy celery heart instead. i ended up putting it in the fridge that evening before pureeing the mushrooms. finished it yesterday, had mushroom soup for lunch. it was wonderful... intense mushroom flavor, thick, dark and rich. but i couldn't resist messing with it. kept thinking what a great base it would make for mushroom barley soup, something with more vegs and more substantial for dinner. i cooked about a half pound of sliced carrots, another small, thin-sliced onion and 1/3 cup barley in more chicken stock and added that to the mushroom soup while it was reheating. served up with panini grilled fontinella cheese sandwiches on my own mixed grain sourdough bread. yep, it was more than substantial. a delicious variation and i'll enjoy more today.
  8. looking back at my post.... ooops on the timeline. i meant to say 14 to 20 hrs total time from start to mouth, not first rise, for using the sourdough starter or barm. loaf from yesterday was a quicker one... a nine hour first rise, four hour second rise including resting/shaping, then baked for 30 minutes enclosed in my dutch oven at 450. with my oven, using my smaller cast iron dutch oven and the bread pans inverted, i get the best results if i turn off the oven five minutes after i remove the cover. i let the bread continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer and achieve 205 degrees interior temp. nice chewy crumb, dark amber to red brown crisp crust and no burn on the bottom. lovebenton, Thanks for the good tips. This morning I was thinking that I would like to try making this bread with my sourdough starter, but I wasn't sure how much starter to use. Then I logged onto this thread, and there was your post with the information. ←
  9. there's some beautiful bread on this thread. i've been using this method exclusively for the past couple of months and love it. i make bread all the time, have for many years. but recently due to a severe case of carpal tunnel and being in a brace 24/7 i can't manage the kneading. this no-knead method has saved my hands and my daily bread. this method is really a different spin on the old-style batter breads i learned as a young teen from someone's grandma... mumble mumble years ago. she always started it at night, let it sit over, vaguely shaped it, let it rise again in a pan and baked it the next day for dinner. the use of the pre-heated dutch oven for these loaves is great. although a perfect size for me, my cast iron dutch oven is smallish, about 3.75 qts. so i've expanded on that to include two larger cast iron skillets inverted on each other when i need a larger loaf. another fun experiment worked out quite well... two very heavy metal bread pans inverted on each other to form the little ''ovens''. both of these variations are giving me fantastic results. i'm addicted to using my sourdough barm or starter for most bread i want to eat, so i mostly use that instead of any yeast. one cup barm or starter has been my best for proportion. the first rise takes 18 to 24 hours and the second rise is about 4 hours. so starting it one morning means i can bake it the next afternoon. i'm also playing with the basic recipe variously, as have others. i find that replacing about 1/2 to 3/4 cup with different flours, such as rye, whole wheat and i like to add about 1/8 to 1/4 cup cornmeal, is wonderful for variety. i like to mix heavier and dry additions, dry herbs, nuts and dried fruit, into the original dough. if i want to add cheese i find that's best done when i fold the dough before second rise. i should have been taking more pics, but here's a couple. in small dutch oven and a mixed grain in inverted bread pans
  10. oh yes, grew up with salmon croquettes as a regular and welcome visitor at the dinner table. i first remember them in tx as a five year old girl, that would be in 1957-58, for timeline reference. we probably ate them before then. mother (ohio) and dad (illinois) were both northern kids, so i don't think this started as a southern thing when we moved to tx from rhode island. we continued to eat them wherever we lived, although for some reason once we were up in michigan crab cakes snuck in there more often. i still make salmon croquettes, switch the sauce around as i feel like it, but always with a nice salad and some other veg on the side just like when i was a kid. had them last week with a homemade wasabi/mayo. i use fresh bread crumbs in mine, the usual egg, chopped onions, squeeze of lemon and sometimes dill, depending on sauce. cooked in just a bit of butter on a griddle. yes i do leave in the skin and bones for good omegas and calcium, but i don't coat mine with anything (i suppose because mother never did either), and they stay whole and nicely crispy just the same. i think canned salmon was probably a great, cheap protein source that families could afford and just a bit different to boot from the usual dinner we ate. it's one thing i ever saw my mother put into a skillet with any kind of fat to cook other than eggs. she was the broiler queen, but i'm still glad she made an exception for salmon croquettes.
  11. i love my black chamba 4 qt pot. have used it for many good meals, on electric cooktop, gas cooktop and in the oven. however, now i'm living in a flat with one of those fancy dancy glass topped ranges. i want to cook a nice chicky in it. for some reason i'm just hesitant to set my chamba on the element. i have a simmer plate, maybe that would help. or am i being anxious for no reason?
  12. personally i haven't had any problem with my cast iron skillets or dutch oven with breads sticking. been using them for baking bread for years. but if anyone is anxious about this there's no rule that says you can't lightly oil the heated pot with an oily cloth or light mist.
  13. lovebenton0

    Fat Replacements

    yes, the weight loss aspect is understood for lowering fat in the diet. i am intrigued with this ztrim, having never seen it before. but aside from that, for many people, such as myself, i need to consume only half the amount of fat "recommended" as maximum daily due to that old bugaboo... cholesterol. genetics got me, the cholesterol is part of who i am, not the best part. so i try to use olive oil, veg subs for meat and cheese, low-fat and fat-free dairy, only very lean meats and only occasionally. in other words, all the usual subs for cutting down that bad fat in the diet. because when i want to enjoy some real hard core fat upon occasion i like to do so fairly guilt free. and where do you find the ztrim?
  14. stunning, Susan... the holes are gorgeous. fabulous looking epi too. you can rightfully brag over these.
  15. add one for me... the lovely (and delicious) Fonda San Miguel, Thirty Years of Food and Art.
  16. this is great news for Heidi and for you! thanks for the update on your princess. will be looking forward to a report on her mall trip too.
  17. great blog, Susan and Kris. i just had the chance to catch up and read through what i'd missed the past couple of days. and to round out the table Saturday... Susan, if you don't have any already planned pickles and sliced onions would be a must here with that smoked brisket... it is looking lovely. figure you have another four to six hours for that... and either tortillas or bread on the side for soppers and moppers. i'm lovin' this ladies, keep it up!
  18. what fun! two of my favorite eg bloggers at once. the cream stew with salmon looks delicious, Kris. i thought of cream chowder also... although i usually think of chowder as a thicker based cream stew and this looks thin and creamy. i wonder... is the base of the roux wheat flour, corn starch, rice flour, soy...??? and maybe i'm way off base, but is it unusual to have cream dishes such as this in Japan? happy blogging! looking forward to this week's entries from both of you.
  19. i've made the cornbread with and without the bacon. i like it fine both ways. i have also added diced roasted green chilies or roasted jalapenoes to batter when not using bacon. depends on the heat you want.. i liked that even better... gave it a bit of the smokiness the bacon does without the fat.
  20. have a great stay at the cabin! we are heading out in a few hours ourselves. looks like it will be a little cooler up north than here. it hit 104 today... menu idea... butterflied leg o lamb, marinate all day in your choice, grilled in about 20-25 minutes. so good and simple, leaves you plenty of time for lake lolling. wrap in foil some sliced potatoes tossed in evoo or butter, s&p, and throw them on the grill too, some other fresh vegs grilled, seared or steamed. more s'mores later for dessert. any leftover lamb is great cold the next day for gnoshing.
  21. barely growing lavender here. it's growing, but just one plant. she does have some blooms for the first time thugh.yeah, the big lavender farm out around Fredericksburg is closed now, past their picking season. i still want to try to get out there... next year.
  22. two more lowdown ebay scores for me... Everything Indian by Monica Bhide Vatch's Thai Cookbook
  23. great cabin report, Susan. so wanted to be there to see and taste all of that myself... we're heading up that way the second week of July, only as far as Chicago/Kenosha WI though, still way south and east of the cabin. but looking forward to a northern summer weather break from the TX frying pan at that time. and some good Italian and German sausages, etc., that likes of which we just can't find in Central TX.
  24. garden goodies are looking great, Elie... bravo! i'd agree with fifi on the tomato cages. we have a combo of some similar to those we constructed and also some of the more common ones, but in the jumbo size. hey, when we bought the place there were about 15 cages here and i just couldn't see not using the freebies. so i also use two of those cages for some tomato plants, side by side and train the branches to use the second as they grow. so you needn't neccesarily abandon the cages you have. our tomatoes and peppers are just booming! we have far less variety in our veg garden this year, due to me being gone and arriving home severely ill, causing a late start. but on the other hand perhaps it is not bad to let some of the plot rest until fall garden time, which i do want to attempt this year. and i still have some plants i started as seedlings that are begging to be put in the ground so that will stagger the harvest too.
  25. lovebenton0

    Leg of Lamb

    i'm with you Jaymes, always monitor those flammable marinades... i never understood the concept of throwing good beer on a fire either! not unless necessary!
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