Friday, July 8, 2011

J-E-L-L- No

I made banana pudding above for a Fourth of July get-together with some old friends. I wanted to do something special. Something I knew we would all enjoy. So I decided to try my hand at whipping up some pudding from scratch.

I was a little intimidated at first. I mean, it had to be complicated, right? Surprisingly it was really easy. And used ingredients ai almost always have on-hand. And let me tell you, it was a hit! When I got ready to head home post fireworks, the dish had almost been licked clean. I think I have a new specialty in my arsenal.

Want to make it for yourself? Here's what you do: In a medium sauce pan, mix 3 tbs all-purpose flour, 1/4 sugar and slowly incorporate 2 c milk. (I used whole milk.) Heat over low to medium heat until it begings to thicken, stirring constantly. Separate 3 eggs (save the whites for a meringue if you're feeling adventurous. I just scrambled them for breakfast so nothing was wasted.). Slowly mix about 1/4 to 1/3 of your milk mixture into your egg yolks. Then pour that back into the saucepan. (This tempers the yolks, allowing them to warm up to the temperature of the milk mixture without being scrambled.) Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in about 1 tsp pure vanilla and 4 tbs butter. In your dish layer Nilla wafers (I prefer the real thing here), 2 to 3 sliced bananas and pudding mixture. Alternate layers beginng with cookies. Let cool, or not, and enjoy. If you want to use real whipped cream on top when you serve it, allow the pudding to cool first so the whipped cream doesn't melt.

With God as my witness, I will never make boxed pudding again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Farmers Market finds

Best beets I've had yet. Picked them up at the farmer's market. Roasted them with some olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Delicious! And check out the nose on that eggplant at the top. My friend D grew that on his dad's farm near shorter. Roasted it as well. Tossed some with a little pasta. The rest I ate with some roasted zucchini and onions I had left over.

One of my favorite things about shopping at the farmers markets is knowing where my food comes from. And knowing that it hasn't traveled across the country, bouncing around i the back of a truck. I like knowing who grew it, too. I feel better supporting small farmers than I do when I spend my money at a big box store.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pizza! Pizza!

I recently was inspired by some lovely friends to try my hand at making my own pizza. And it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself...

I used pizza dough purchased from the bakery at Publix. The sauce is a mixture of the pesto and tomato sauces I had left in the fridge. My toppings (eggplant, onion, squash and tomato) all came from friends' gardens. The fresh mozzarella also came from Publix.

The directions on the dough were simple enough, simple remove from the fridge and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out to desired thickness (I sprinkled a little flour on the counter to avoid sticking) and bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your oven times and temperatures for baking may vary. It may take some experimenting to find what works for you.

I've got some veggies at home that really ought to be used and I'm already contemplating my next pizza. I might even try my hand at making my own dough. For anyone interested in doing so, I've included a great recipe below for what I hear is a great pizza crust.

Kim's Homemade Pizza Dough

1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 packet of yeast

1 c almost boiling water

4 tsp honey

1 c whole wheat flour

Stir together all-purpose flour, salt and yeast. Add water and stir. Add honey and stir. Add whole wheat flour and stir until most of it has been incorporated. Dust counter with flour and turn out dough onto floured surface. Knead until flour is incorporated. If dough is too moist, add a little flour until you reach the desired consistency. Place dough ball in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap until it has doubled in size. About 1/2 hour. Dust the counter lightly with flour and turn out dough. Roll out to desired thickness. Top with sauce, spices, cheese and toppings of your choosing. Bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. (Again, time and temperature may vary based on your oven and elevation.)

My return to blogging

I can't believe it has actually been two years since I posted last. I really should keep up with the more often.

In and effort to broaden the scope of this blog, I've changed the title and URL. I hope to focus not only on my knitting but my adventures in the kitchen and elswhere in the home as I work toward a healthier, more sustainable way of life.

I welcome all comments and suggestions on improving this blog. So let me know what you think!