Brilliant

Yesterday I was commiserating with Ruth on the phone that I had Salmon awaiting to be made into something for dinner.  Boring, I needed a new idea.  She came up with this.

Salmon Pizza with Wasabi Aioli.  I love pizza.

Image

So, I got started on the crust and miraculously happened to have bread flour.  I have never made anything with bread flour so it was really different….heavier, harder to roll out, quite dense but it did make a nice, fat crust.  This next picture is raw, as it was going in the oven.

Image

As to the ingredients…..very cool.

I made the crust.  Got the temp. of the oven up to 550 (a tad hot, could be a bit lower).  Put the pizza stone in while heating and then whipped it out, dusted it with bread crumbs and put the crust which was already rolled out on it, hot.

First up was brushing the crust with olive oil then putting lemon zest all over it to the edges, sliced bermuda onion, salmon, big fat capers, dried dill and some dill salt I had made this summer which was just loads of dill put in the kitchen Aid with sea salt.  I keep it jarred in the fridge.  That’s what some of those green blobs are.  Baked till done.  Not long, super hot oven.  When I pulled it out I let it cool a bit then piped wasabi aioli across the top.  I got this out of a jar from Jumping Jay’s but it’s easy to make just put some hot stuff in some oil and some mayo and anything else you want till it’s liquidy.  The one thing I forgot was the slivered cucumbers that were supposed to go on top of the aioli after the pizza was cooked.  It would have added a nice crunch and color.  Next time?  More salmon, more of everything I think and more lemon for sure.  I’m thinking, use lemon olive oil in the dough making instead of plain olive oil.  The flavors were so nice together, and not a bit fishy.  Thanks Ruth!

I did get a bit of weaving in yesterday on the dishtowels I’m making…..I am sorry the colors don’t come up as vibrant as they really are.  These darn iphone cameras, but then again, it’s probably me.

Image

This morning:

ImageBeautiful out….crispy.  I’m off to the ocean to walk as it’s low tide soon.  Today is my youngest child’s birthday…29!  And, it’s exactly the same out as the day he was born.  At about this time, 29 years ago, his dad was trying to start the truck repeatedly (it was already running) but I think he was nervous.  Everyone was out in the driveway – his employees, laughing.  I was upstairs making beds (of course), Ruth was barely one year old and off with her Grandmother; Jesse at 8 was in school waiting to be the proud older brother.  We called the school (this was a very small town at the time) to let Jesse know he had a new boy to help with and they announced it on the PA system to the whole school.  Made his day!  So, that’s what I’ll be thinking of as I walk the beach this morning.  Nice thoughts.

The high light of my week…..I had a great Skype call with my little girls.  Colbie (5) was all ready; she had her mothers necklace on, dressed up, books chosen (6 of them).  We were going to read to each other.  She knows most of her books by heart so she likes to tell the story to me but this time she wanted me to read them.  That was funny and complicated.  Getting the book held up to the camera, not too close, level so I could see the words, etc. was a process.  Her sister, Zoe (3) was full of beans, in and out, crawling over and under, pressed up against the screen and really more interested in her nose than anything else.  What’s with these kids and their noses at that age.  Yuck.  It’s amazing to me, these girls live 3,000 miles away and yet with Skype we’re so close I can almost kiss them.  We do a lot of screen kissing hello and goodby….sad that I can’t hold them.  It’s bittersweet seeing them.

This picture was taken while she was telling me a story.  Pinoccio I suspect.

Image

Zoe, as I said, was in and out.

Image

Paul and I went to the beach in the morning…yes, this picture was taken in the morning about 8:30 a.m.  What the heck?

Image

Yesterday I was thinking we needed something fruity for our morning coffee at 5:30 a.m. – that old toast gets kind of old, sometimes it’s butter, sometimes almond butter, sometimes cottage cheese but after a week; give me something else please.

Standard Baking Book came to the rescue with a fruit buckle that I made into muffins.  It’s pretty awesome as it’s really just a CAKE with a bit of fruit on top.  I’ve cut the sugar quite a bit and you can hardly tell. 

Image2 C. Cake flour, not unbleached as this cake flour gives it a cake like density yet light.

2- 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/2 C. sugar

2 Eggs

2 tsp. almond extract, could be any kind

1 C. buttermilk or almond milkPreheat to 350.
Sift your dry together.  Mix the wet in a mixer till creamy, add the flour & milk alternatively.  Put a large scoop in your muffin tin – makes about 12.

Chop up whatever fruit you have around – I had pears & frozen blueberriesadd a bit of sugar and zest lemon peel and a bit of flour. 

Spoon the fruit mixture over the top and bake.  Nice break from muffins and moving more into the cake world which we all love.

Yesterday afternoon, in between this and that, I got a cottolin warp on the loom and started weaving.  It’s going to be many, many dishtowels.  It’s kind of boring in that the body of the towel is a navy blue twill but 3″ from the border in the beginning and end I am doing some colorful stuff for about 3″ so it should hold my interest.  You’ll never believe what color I worked with on the trim last night???? Yup. Blues/greens/turquoise.

More weaving today and perhaps this past weeks filming of Downton Abby.  I have to watch it on a laptop as we don’t have cable but I’m good with that.  Love it.

2012 in review

This is kind of interesting stuff….numbers crunching but pertinent to my blog.  Fun.

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Kale

That one word may turn off a bunch of people but….I’m new to this Vegetable and I find I really love it.  This past summer I planted one row about 20′ long of regular kale and then a few plants of Dinosaur Kale started from my Hydro deal in the dining room.  They are still out there, peaking out of a snow bank.  These things are invincible.  As the stuff kept coming no matter how much we ate or pruned or I gave away (my friend Richard took bags & bags).  I decided to start preserving the kale for winter use.  I called my friend Janet, the Master Gardener in my life, she said chop it fine, drop it in boiling water for a second, pull it out and drop in ice water then dry, bag & freeze.  Did that.  Had tons more, each day.  So, I pulled out the dehydrator and laid out leaves, minus the stems, on each rack – mine holds 6 racks, plugged it in and ran on the herb setting for a day then bagged & froze.  That worked, it was a tad crumbly but I knew it was going in soup anyway.

Image

This stuff is NOT what it seems…..it expands.  I put one bag, chopped, in a soup last night…..Image

This is what is left from a huge pot of soup.  I called Richard.  We are both addicted to Kale smoothies; I know, sounds gross but wicked healthy.  Last night he came right over and took at least half.  Whew.  Paul would never tolerate Kale soup many times in a row. 

Some friends had given us a mountain of sweet potatoes from their home in the Carolinas.  I went digging for a recipe in Love Soup by Anna Thomas.  This book is one of my favorites that I’ve talked about before so I won’t gab on and on.

But, deviating from the recipe a bit what I did was cook a few huge yellow onions and one red chopped up with some celery in olive oil and sea salt.  I added chopped up sweet potatoes then the kale then some chicken stock, lots of salt & pepper, more olive oil and that was that.  After it had boiled, brought it to a simmer for 1/2 hour, added two Tablespoons of lemon juice.  In the very end I threw in a small handfull of chopped ham I had left over from the quiches the other day.

My little hydro inside garden in the dining room is pumping out some greens.  I’m trying to not pick and see just how large they get.  Usually I stop by and eat a leaf or two and then start picking more and adding to our salad at night or sandwich and then by the time it should be all grown up there are just empty stems left. 

Image

These little guys on the end are the Dinosaur kale babies….see the curly edges beginning?

Image

At the other end is the Arugula.  This stuff is so awesome.  It’s really hot and spicy; extreme peppery.  We have it in scrambled egg wraps that I make in tortillas, just a leaf or two.

Although I’m not eating too much in the morning (my new regime of just a protein drink) I made some muffins for Paul and the guys this morning.  My variation of a Heidi Swanson Bran Muffin recipe.

Image

Flat top muffins:

2 eggs

1 C. buttermilk

1/2 C. coconut oil

1/4 C. maple syrup

1.5 C. flake cereal – not sure what I used as I recycle the boxes pronto but they were big, fat, brown flakes that I figured were health food stuff as Paul wouldn’t eat it.

Mix the liquids together in a large bowl, add the cereal and let sit a few minutes.

Add, once mixed together:

1 C. whole wheat flour

1/4 C. organic sugar

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Mix into the wet, add:

handful of dried cherries or whatever you have around

handful of chopped walnuts or sliced almonds or not.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

This is one of those let cool on rack and then 5 minutes later take out of baking cups pan.  The batter is very moist and if you don’t get them out they will stick forever.  So, give it five so it has time to pull together then lift out and continue cooling.

Very yummy.

This has nothing to do with Food & Fiber but if you read the New Yorker or can get a hold of one there are two fascinating articles this week, January 14 issue.  One is “Outsource Yourself” by Patricia Marx which is about all the little businesses that people will bid out weird jobs….like who will sort my kids legos? or can someone write me some comments about a book for my book club so I can seem smart; or better yet, who will bid on making me some madelines that I can serve to my book club guests, and please deliver it.  Geech.  Task Rabbit, Zaarly, Elance, etc. and cheap, cheap, cheap.  So odd, what a crazy ass world we live in.

The other article is John McPhee, one of my most favorite authors other than my friend Ann Beattie, who writes about sentence structures.  Wholly mackeral, what he goes through to write his stories….cutting up sentences and actually moving them around a table, structural outlines, Kedit (never heard of this but very cool) etc.  I am doing this no justice, you just need to read it and I guaranteed you will value the next story you read by one of these Pro’s (not your average Joe who is pumping out these new “novels” that show up everywhere).  A well written book flows and you savor every sentence.  For me this article explains why….good to know.  Reading is the best!  (says the daughter of a lifetime librarian!).

Some Winter Food & Linens

I believe I have published this crust before but….last time (or rather the first time) I had made it with an Apple Pie inside….no, no, no.  This is waaay better!  A broccoli/ham quiche.  Savory and Savory, works best.  Eat it warm just out of the oven – flaky, yummy.  We had it fresh out and then again 2 hours later – the difference was amazing, fresh is best!

Image

Image

Beer/Rye Crust:

2/3 C. Rye Flour

1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour

1 C. Unbleached White Flour

1/4 tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/3+ C. Cold Beer

Mix as you would any crust.  This one is different rolling out so you need to roll it thicker – perhaps chilling in the fridge before you roll.  I made two small quiches from this one recipe.

The insides were the usual suspects……1/5 C. half & half, 5 eggs, blended.  Cheddar on the bottom, steamed broccoli & about a cup of cubed ham on top, dust with some more cheddar, bake at 400 for about an hour.  Crispy crust – kind of like a wafer or something.

Last night while hanging out in front of/almost in the wood stove I hemmed the linens off the loom.  I love the feel of these…..50% bamboo, 50% silk.  Nice feel or “hand” as they say in the weaving world.

Image

You just can’t see this green color as in true light.  This looks like mustard!  The next shot is them showing the other side, kind of nice.

Image

Video update…..We were asked to send another introduction video to New York as they liked Paul and are very interested.  Hummmmm.

All Good, Dude.

That is what my youngest son used to say to me all the time.  It always gave me pause.  But, today’s post….that says it all.

In thinking about healthy eating which most of us usually do at this time of year.  I’m back into my Protein Shake every morning about 9 a.m.  Mine is a Shaklee Shake, Chocolate with almond milk and 1/3 C. of frozen Blueberries and a bit of my frozen, chopped kale from our garden.  I put up a ton of this stuff this past September – I should be using it or I’ll gross Paul out with a Kale Soup – he’d never forgive me.

shaklee drink

Amazingly this drink holds me till sometime in the afternoon and it allows me to eat just half a sandwich or some soup for lunch instead of the full deal with chips.  Darn, I love potato chips but it really is the “death of me” weight wise.  Yesterday I went to my Shaklee Associates house for a talk to remind me to eat less.  It’s a good thing to do although I hate spending time re-listening to the spheel.  I used to go to skin care talks to remind myself to cover up the kids from the sun also; lot of good that did, Paul is a surfer, Ruth goes to a tanning salon and Jesse is a bike rider.   For me, if I make the effort to take the time to listen it usually sinks in for a bit.  I can be a numskull at times.

I just love clusters of granola and came across a pretty simple recipe the other day in The Best of America’s Test Kitchen.  I didn’t want to buy the Magazine as I’m still mad at them.  I had applied for a job there as a Test Chef and got through two phases of the Interview process and then they dumped me with no explanation.  I hate that, you get your hopes up, in my case you tell everybody and them wham……Carla who?  This recipe is good…..other people are publishing it as theirs at the same time so who knows whose recipe it is.  Now it’s mine, Marji’s, my daughter in law Kelly’s and Marji’s moms.  Marj came over the day I made it and found it on another site that night.  I sent it to my daughter in law she immediately sent back a photo of my grand daughter patting it down…..so there.  It’s delicious.  I made it simple, no fruit.

1/3 C. Maple Syrup

1/3 C. light brown sugar

4 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. vegetable oil

Whisk in bowl till blended well.  Add:

5 C. oats

1 C. Chopped Almonds

1 C. Chopped walnuts

Then add sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds or whatever else you have hanging around.  I added some carmalized sliced almonds also.

Press down in parchment lined baking sheet (press hard) and bake at 325 for 45 minutes, turning the pan occasionally.  Let cool an hour, break into chunks.  Then you can add fruit or not.

oat granola

This is the other part of the “all good dude”.  We went up to Portland, Maine last night to meet friends for Beer and Dinner.  First, the beer place was a place my friend Marji had mentioned on her blog…Navare Res Bier Cafe.  I googled it and then looked at it on a satellite photo as I couldn’t find it on the map.  It is inside a block of 4 streets.  We parked at a garage (last time with that one, 4 bucks an hour), took the back exit and there across the parking lot was a factory type building with a downstairs entrance…..very cool.  Dark, noisy, bar with lots of people, very noisy, bustling with energy, all young!  Awesome place.  The beer menu was huge…..not being a beer drinker I ordered something different, a smokey one that I didn’t write down the name, sorry.  Very different.  It tasted like smoked cheese flavor – craving a pickled egg with it.  They did not think I would like it when I ordered but since I don’t normally drink beer my expectations were less than beery.  We got a 5 cheese platter to nibble on with our friends.  Fun time, wonderful staff at this place, automatically felt “at home” which I kinda do anywhere anyway.  After a few brews (I limited myself to the one) off we went to Shultz and Herr for a wonderful German dinner.  We all had something different – what a smorgasboard.  Fabulous.  The guy I sat next to in the Beer Bar showed up with his brew.  It was like family!!!!  Fun night.  This combination for an evening is super – if your from around here, give it a try but do get a reservation at Shultz & Herr’s as they are fast becoming popular.

Now for my protein drink………and walk.

 

 

The Wonder of It All

I believe I have said this before but….I’m still wondering about it all.  Paul got a phone call from a filming company in New York last night in regard to them wanting to do a reality show about our boat business, family style, small, etc. etc.  Now, I ask you, who would be interested?? These people produce Pawn Shop something and as we don’t have TVconnection we are clueless.  Perhaps that is why we appeal to them – hicks?  Paul has done a few other things in Media so I guess he’s “connected”.  They say this will be ongoing, filming all the time? with weekly episodes.  All I can say is WHAT?

Other than that it’s darn cold here and I’m still here.  I expected to be in a warmer place by now – ironically our customers are in that warm place and we’re “waiting for the checks”.  Funny how that works for small business people.

I’m trying to eat healthy again.  I really slipped with the past two holidays and all that fun stuff to eat.  We eat so many salads and greenery in the summer that by the time late fall rolls around we’re kind of done with it.  But, back at it again – never mind the beef stew/chili/steak/potatoes thing anymore.  It is funny how your body craves these caloric, heavy meals.  I’m fat enough what’s with the packing more on; I’m thinking I don’t need it to survive.

Nice salad – probably a bit too much olive oil but what the heck.

winter veges.

I’ve continued walking although it’s been quite bleak out there.  Once I put the layers on it is just beautiful.  Like my friend Marji I am truly starting to enjoy and embrace the season.  I could be lying but I’m trying anyway.

Here’s the river I cross every morning…..I’ve photographed this before and am amazed that a landscape can change so often and endure the radical changes.

bleak forecast

river crossing

As a special treat, after the afternoon sun has warmed up my studio I weave just about every day.  Sometimes it’s for 5 minutes and others perhaps an hour or so.  Yesterday, this was my view and so close to where I sit I could actually feel it.  yiikes.

window frost

I’m still plodding along with the accounting.  It’s pathetic but one good thing is the less you make the less taxes we pay.  Incredible that this could be something to be excited about.  And, currently I’m reading about Catherine the Great – wow, talk about excess!  And, what about Depardieu moving to Russia for the 13% interest?  What a place!

I think I need something, food wise, to get interested in experimenting with.  I love the idea of that Julia & Julia book/movie….something new every day and have actually thought of that with my weaving…..but, food really excites me.  It would be nice if I could channel that energy into something non food though.  Ah, the winter blues……let’s have a great day!