Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dinnertime, Distractions, and Challah

Where to start?! I have so much to blog about. It's been awhile since I've blogged. I got distracted by a sewing project. We've always used cloth napkins (one less thing to throw away), but lately we've been washing them after just one use which seems almost as wasteful. I love my kids and have dealt with every possibly bodily excretion, but I just didn't like the idea of sharing their napkins. Since all the napkins look the same, it would be impossible for everyone just to keep track of their own from meal to meal, so I decided to make each person their own napkin with a different fabric. Since it would be too much to ask some of the less observant members of the family (Dad) to keep track of whose fabric is who's, I also appliqued each person's initial on their napkin. I was determined to use up fabric I already had and not succumb to my usual temptation to buy all new stuff for a new project. Mission accomplished! A few of the napkins have a bit of patchwork on the back, since I didn't necessarily have the right sized scraps, but that just adds to the charm. I just finished them yesterday, and we have yet to actually try them out, since our dining room table is covered with piles (okay mountains) of clean laundry waiting to be put away. Here they are: I hope to make one more set at some point to allow us to have the other set in the wash, but for now, I'm going to try to focus (back) on gardening, baking, and cooking. Oh, and we're going to be doing some rearranging of the house that will let me have a craft room. Woo hoo! I'm so excited about that, but I'm sure it will take me quite a bit of time to get everything set up. My craft "area" up in the attic is quite a mess right now. On to other things. I'm still doing (and keeping up with) the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. I messed up last week though and made the Challah when we were supposed to make the Casatiello. I'll make that this weekend. Although I love the name and have had it stuck in my head all week - with various dramatic (and really embarrasing if anyone could hear me saying it in my head) pronunciations, I'm not all that excited about making it. I loved the brioche (this casatiello is similar with salami and cheese also thrown in), but I don't want to compromise my Vegan diet twice (I had to the first time to try the brioche in all it's buttery, eggy glory). I'm going to have to try to make the Casatiello with rice milk, Egg Replacer and Earth Balance. And of course something other than salami and cheese. I'm thinking sun dried tomatoes. I guess it will be a good experiment. Anyway, I didn't love the Challah either. I had to use quite a bit of Egg Replacer in it as well. It ended up being quite bland, but I think that may actually be how it's supposed to taste. In my pre-BBA life, I probably would have loved it, but now I'm too spoiled by the other breads I've made from the book which are so much better. The challah, at least, was very pretty, and I enjoyed doing the braid. Here it is: Finally (for now - there's still so much more to catch up on), for the past two weeks, I've actually sat down on Friday or Saturday and planned out the meals for the entire week. I know that's probably the norm for most people, but it's a real novelty for me, and it feels like quite an accomplishment. I wanted to share what we've been having: Saturday Breakfast, 5/30 - Assortment of Poppy Seed, Blueberry, and Plain Pancakes, Bacon for kids. Saturday Dinner, 5/30 - Gone to a party Sunday, 5/31 - Pizza - With homemade dough from BBA - cooked in the oven on the pizza stone. Kids had bacon leftover from Sat. breakfast on their pizza. Adults had regular onions, carmelized onions, sauce. Need to come up with some more Vegan toppings. Monday, 6/1 - Sandwiches - Turkey for the kids and avocado and tomato for me Tuesday, 6/2 - Adults: Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh with Bulgur Pilaf. Kids: Leftover Pancakes Wednesday, 6/3 - Adults: Sweet Potato Pot Pies. Kids: Baked Potato Bar (with more leftover bacon, cheese, etc.) Thursday, 6/4 - Pasta Friday, 6/5 - Pizza - same dough - this time cooked over charcoal in the fire pit. I think the dough was too thin for this to work well. The next week was mostly the same, since I had a lot of leftover ingredients to use up. This coming week, I'll definitely have to throw in a few new things. Saturday Dinner, 6/6 - Maple Glazed Tempeh, Roasted Potato, Garlic, and Bell Pepper Salad, Burgers for the kids Sunday, 6/7 - French Toast or Eggs for the kids, Homemade Hummus and Pretzels for me Monday, 6/8 - Tacos for the kids, more hummus and pretzels for me Tuesday, 6/9 - Adults: Sweet Potato Pot Pies. Kids: Leftover French Toast and Tacos Wednesday, 6/10 - I went out with some friends. Dad and kids were on their own. Thursday, 6/11 - Adults not hungry. Kids: Mac & Cheese Friday, 6/12 - Adults: Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh with Bulgur Pilaf. Kids: PB & J I kind of fell apart on the kids meals. I go back and forth between wanting them to eat whatever I make and just wanting them to eat - period. I haven't completed the meal planning yet for this week, but today, I'm going to be making these awesome sounding Berry Beer Baked Beans from my favorite cooking blog, 101 cookbooks. I've had these beautiful, local, Jacob's Cattle Beans that I've been wanting to use for almost a year. They just completed their overnight soak and will go in the oven as soon as I get back from the Farmer's Market (and supermarket) with the rest of the ingredients. Gotta run - I like to get to the Farmer's Market right when it opens, and I'm already late.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to use those beans in a recipe I have for Cowboy Beans. Whare are you located? I'm in NY...

    Very nice job with the challah bread! My next book will be the Bread Baker's Apprentice...