Wednesday, May 16, 2012

hey good lookin'. whatcha got cookin'?

... not that I'm good lookin'. But you know. Just liking that catchy opening, is all.


I've been cooking up a storm this week. Not sure why, but I guess I've been in the mood and felt like with all my attention focused on other things this past little while, I needed to channel some of my creative energies back to the kitchen.

So here's a recap:

As Sunday was Mother's Day, I know I could have delegated my food assignment for our extended family get- together to someone else around here, but I had some things in mind that I felt like doing. And I didn't mind.

:: strawberry-rhubarb crisp with a bundle of rhubarb I picked up from Saturday's visit to the Farmer's Market. (Our rhubarb isn't quite mature enough for prolific picking.) This was really good. Mellow with that sour-ish rhubarb flavor.

:: Okay, I had good intentions with this pasta salad. A dressing that I'd never made before, and initially this tasted good to me as I filled a little bowl full to try at lunchtime. But a strange thing happened. Later at my sisters house, this salad morphed into something pretty nasty. I kept tasting it to get a grip on it. Totally inedible. Enough so that I had to warn everybody in the room. Humble pie time for moi.

All I can say is we all have flops.

:: Not pictured: gigantic fruit platter garnished with fresh mint from my garden. Really beautiful.

Okay. Monday is my big cook day.

:: mixed up and started these Mexi- Flax crackers for the dehydrator. Fun project.

(not pictured)
:: put together and pulverized a "dried veggie mix" (celery, peppers, and onions + dried seasonings) that I had hanging around. Now more convenient as a mix to season lots of stuff.

: put together a "chili seasoning mix" of dehydrated tomato powder and Mexican seasonings. Will use in variety of ways.
:: I tried something new I had heard about. Cooked all my beans for the week all at one time in Mason jars in the canner. 2 jars of black beans, 2 jars of garbanzos, 2 jars of pintos, and 1 jar of lentils. Allowed the beans (1 cup dried) in each jar to soak the previous 24 hours. Drained them; refilled to the rim with fresh water and added a teaspoon of salt in each. No lids on the jars. Placed them in the rack and immersed them in that big black kettle with a few inches of water on the bottom (with lid rings on the bottom), brought the water to a boil, and then turned it down a little, placing the lid on the kettle. The lentils were done in an hour and the others about an hour and a half. A success! A time saver! I think this deserves a more detailed post when I try this again.

: cooked up a week's worth of brown rice I had soaking with the beans. I liked the results of the soaking.

:: made a batch of hummus with one jar of the garbanzos. Cut some veggies to have on hand with this.

:: with a jar each of garbanzos, lentils, and equal amounts of brown rice, I mashed these together and dehydrated the mixture. Formed a sort of homemade "veggie meat crumbles" that I added with a bit of the above veggie mix. Will reconstitute with liquid and fresh grated veggies, etc. into patties and such. We'll see how it goes.

:: Spanish rice (used above chili mix)

:: Refried beans (used above chili mix) to go with burrito fixings for dinner.

:: Choco-Banana-Almond shakes for Family Night Treat. So yum.


:: ground my wheat for the week.

:: made two pans of granola.

:: :: two different kinds of raw date-nut balls. "Cookie Dough" and "Brownie Bites". Good to store in the freezer for lunches and "when I need a little something".

(not pictured)

:: whole grain pancake mix

:: baked a batch of carrot cake muffins for Wednesday's breakfast

:: cheezy sauce (recipe here) to accompany this night's dinner of Mountain Man Hash (stir fried potatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini spears)

:: big mixed veggie and greens salad bowl with Sweet Mustard Dressing (recipe here) to accompany.

:: mixed up dough for daily bread and pizza dough (to freeze). Stored overnight in the fridge. (I use Artisan Bread in 15 Minutes a Day method.)


:: green smoothies for breakfast to go with yesterday's already baked muffins.

:: baked the whole grain loaves to go with tonight's planned Sweet Potato, Corn, and Kale chowder.

Whew. Seeing all this written down makes me tired. I did a lot. It was work. It was satisfying. I hope it's worth it. I think it is.

Tomorrow, we garden!


  1. Umm, wow! That was a lot of cooking! I wish I could be that productive in my kitchen. Sounds lovely. The artisan bread, are you really happy with it? It looks so good. I make my own bread but I haven't tried this "artisan movement". Do you find the bread is better?

    1. Hi Renee!

      Thanks for being here. Yes, my bread came out well this time. Some days are better than others. I just keep on trying. I've really enjoyed the ease of teh artisan bread. I used to make something similar where I didn't store the bread dough in the fridge and the dough wasn't as "loose" or wet as this dough is. I love the crumb of this bread. A little rubbery and moister. You should try it.

  2. So inspiring!! I'm trying to be more diligent and productive in the kitchen. I had one day last week where I cooked and cooked the whole afternoon, and it was so much fun...and exhausting. Didn't cook the rest of the weekend. Well, it's a process. :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. hey good looking - yeah, I'm talking about YOU!

  4. Look at you go! Yum! Thanks so much for sharing, Emily! I feel inspired! And it's VERY comforting to know that even the people who inspire me have flops - somehow makes it feel a little easier to deal with having my own experiments flop occasionally! ;-)

  5. You definitely are good lookin! This makes me miss your yummy food so bad! You are such a good cook - so creative - so healthy and "alive"
    Love it!

    1. COME ON OVER! Always love to share with you. Plus, I need someone to share the brownie balls and flax chips with. I'm eating too many!


  6. Whoa! That's a lot of cooking. Excellent stuff. Just bought some rhubarb myself to make the same type of crisp. I had the most embarrassing flop recently. My family was visiting and I made pancakes. I tripled the recipe including the baking soda and they were awful tasting and didn't cook through! I definitely made a mistake somewhere. I've been making great pancakes for years (after a decade of trying to find a great recipe) and to have this disaster was, well, a disaster! Oh, and if you would be so kind to visit my latest blog post - I tried Artisan Bread in Five and it didn't rise in height. Would love to know your thoughts since you are the master baker using the same technique (I think)! ;) xo

  7. Hi, Friend!

    About those pancakes. I've had the same problem, sometimes, with a few vegan recipes. Not cooking all the way through. Gummy, and gave it plenty of time. Still puzzling. Glad to hear I'm not the only one that has pancake flops and other flops, besides.

    I read your bread post last night but was too late to comment. We must have made that bread on the same day! As far as it being a little flattish. I've experienced that. Especially when the dough isn't chilled and also I've noticed when I don't put in enough flour. When it's more on the gloppy side. It's really tricky to get the right consistency, isn't it. You want the moisture for the perfect moist bubbly and rubbery crumb, but you don't want it too dry. Also, make sure your oven and stone are really hot. I think that rise comes in with a really hot oven. The bread I did the other day was the 100% white wheat loaf. I was happy it came out right this time. I loved how you put the seed topping on. I haven't done that in a while.

    Hope you are feeling well. I was just thinking about you this morning. I don't know why. Thinking that I'd love to send you a baby gift...


  8. On the pancakes, what I've found is that they cook better in a stainless pan on the stove than on an electric griddle. I can't figure out why, but it's almost a night and day difference. Bummer is that I can make the pancakes on the griddle in less than half the time!

    I think it's possible that I was a little short on the flour. I will try to make some bread with the chilled dough and see how that goes. The other thing I didn't check is the temp of my oven (I do have a thermometer inside because it needs to be calibrated and is often off). Thank you for all these thoughts and tips! It's nice to know a pro. ;)

    I am doing well, thanks! Morning sickness is gone! You are very if you ever take a visit to PA and want to drop by for a visit, you have an open invitation!


  9. Not sure I remember what link brought me to your blog a couple of months ago, but I've been enjoying it ever since and figured it was about time I introduced myself. Hi!
    I loved this post and am very interested in the canning your beans for the week as well as the blend you will use as a substitute for ground meat. I'm VERY new to a plant based diet (since Feb.) and really enjoy reading your journey and taking advantage of your experience. Feeding my family delicious (but wholesome) food is very much a priority for me, your blog has given me lots of great ideas - thank you for always sharing!

    1. So happy you are here, Kathy! Excited to get to know you more, over at 9 Peas in a Pod. You mom's of families bigger than my own are so inpiring to me. I'm sure I could learn a lot from you. And it sounds like we have a lot in common.

      I really appreciate you introducing yourself and leaving this kind note. xo