Sunday, February 27, 2011

silly little pipe cleaner creatures

My friend Jessica likes making crafts and has a large enough house/table for such activities so I was delighted to visit her and her darling new home for a little pipe cleaner pencil topper fun. These tiny creatures are very easy to make but are incredibly silly due to their wrapped/mummy look and giant poofy heads. So cute!

Everybody says the whiskers really look like a funny mustache but either way, kitty is silly and cute.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

yet another bread post

I double, triple swear I'm not turning this into a bread/baking blog. It may seem that way to anybody who has read my last few posts but in all honesty I'm still just really, super duper excited about the fact that I can make lovely little loaves with little to no effort. It's truly grand!

So, today I finally tried my hand at making a different size loaf of bread than whatever the one size ball o' dough usually makes. I wanted to make a few little loaves to use for Matthew's sandwiches and so I split the one pound ball o' dough into half and then split one of the halves into half again to make three pieces, one larger and two smaller. I had promised my neighbor a loaf of freshly baked bread and the larger of the three was intended for him. He, of course, took one of the smaller ones but I don't think Matthew will complain if he gets an extra large sandwich at some point this week. I, of course, had hoped to keep both the teensy loaves because they are just too tiny and cute.

For the most part, this was a very successful batch of bitty bread but I did learn something from this experience; when I want to make and bake more than one loaf at a time I need to put them on the baking stone one at a time. The largest loaf got a bit hung up on his way into the oven and I almost lost him. All worked out in the end, but for a couple seconds there we had a mini crisis in Lynnea's Little Kitchen.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My new recipe book: it doesn't contain any recipes yet

For the past month or so, I've been working on putting together a recipe book. A book that contains only the recipes that I use and love on a regular basis. The recipes that I love because either, I make them all the time, or because they were special recipes from my childhood.

I know that both my mother and my grandmother have their own personal recipe books that they turn to for those basic favorites that they would be lost without and I recently realized that I really needed to start the process of creating my own personal recipe book. My binder o' magazine clippings and mysterious ingredient lists written on sticky notes* was just getting to be more of a nuisance than a useful resource for cooking. I also came to the conclusion that I need to start weeding through all the information that I've saved; I need to throw out the recipes that either I or Matthew wouldn't even touch with a ten foot pole and then attempt to make the ones that I still think sound appetizing.

So, after almost two months, off and on with this project and one full week of weird dinners (Matthew only protested mildly), I desperately need to put pen to paper and write the first recipe in my new, precious book. The problem is that so far I haven't written a single recipe in this book. Now that I've finally started to compile the recipes that I want to include in the book, I'm second and triple guessing each recipe and whether or not it is actually worthy of inclusion. Is it truly important to me? Is it something that I'll regret putting in later? Would it be better to just keep the fragile little magazine clipping that I've kept for years at this point?

Now, I have a personal recipe book that's full of blank pages. Not a thing written in it yet and the longer I wait the harder it is to start. I suppose that one of these days I'll just give in and put the first recipe into my book but until then I just keep sifting through my pile of clippings and half written recipes on sticky notes and sighing because, as usual, I can't make up my mind.

* Many of these mystery sticky notes had to be tossed due to the fact that I wrote the ingredients down and assumed I'd somehow remember the name of the recipe, the type of recipe and the process for turning those ingredients into something meaningful. Rather silly of me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The perfect baby rye loaf

I finally did it! I made the most ideal looking little loaf of bread. He's perfect.

I actually baked this little loaf a couple days ago to pair with a tasty lentil soup that I'd made. It was a wonderful pairing, fresh, hot rye bread with sausage and lentil soup. Matthew really enjoys rye bread and was very excited at the possibility of eating it straight from the oven. I also promised him ham and swiss sandwiches on rye for this week's little batch of lunches to which he gleefully replied, "yum!" We'll see if I'm actually able to keep up the bread production over the course of the entire week; it seems doubtful.

This evening we were planning to finish up the left-over lentil soup but, naturally, the bread had gone a bit stale so I turned to a very tasty, if rather unhealthy, opportunity to make welsh rarebit. I used a different recipe than I usually do, simply because I can't remember what or where my usual recipe is; I suppose that means that my "usual" recipe isn't really all that usual. I've made a sauce in the past but this welsh rarebit recipe from "Angela Ewing's Pub Grub and Posh British Fare " is much easier.

Welsh Rarebit
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 tablespoons beer or milk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (or grainy mustard, is what I prefer)
4 slices bread
oven on broil

Blend cheese with mustard, egg, beer(or milk) and half of butter (I admit, I added a sprinkling of paprika and a dash of cayenne to the mixture). Toast the bread and spread with the remaining butter and cheese mixture. Place on a cookie sheet and broil for 4 min (I could only broil for 3 before the tops got really dark).

We ate these along-side lentil soup, but they are yummery on their own for snacks.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a funny little loaf of bread

Today, I finally managed to bake a darling little loaf of bread from my new bread book - my first loaf out of this book and, without a doubt, my most successful loaf of bread ever baked. I've made various breads before but this one was really, truly worth all the effort or, to be honest, lack of effort. It was so very easy.

I did take a few before-baking pictures, just in case the bread didn't turn out or was simply unphotogenic. (Turns out, my fears were a touch silly, but it's always best to be prepared.)

Fortunately, the lil' guy turned out all right, if a bit lopsided. But lopsidedness never changes the fabulous flavor. This freshly baked bread really did taste delicious with our borscht.

And, because the photos on this particular blog post are fairly dull and colorless, I'll include some extremely bright and cheerful Bonus photos of my green papaya salad from the Vietnamese Tet festival, which Matthew and I attended a couple weeks ago.

What a tasty and pretty little treat! yum!