Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Palmiers I did not make

I could not believe my eyes when I glanced at my blog and saw...4 comments!! I have sadly neglected all my readers (which the comments prove I have) so I thought I'd better get back on.

I am still in my baking club, I'm just a bit behind.
Last week we were supposed to be making ciabatta bread. I have made this recipe before (just not last week) and here are my comments:
1-the sponge is not necessary, the one day version works just fine.
2-the dough is SUPER sticky, don't be alarmed, just plop it on your parchment paper and stick it in the oven
3-parchment paper is a MUST for this recipe
4-a stone is a MUST for this recipe
5-though it was good, it was not the best ciabatta you will ever have while the Italian artisan bread (or rustic loaf or something) (recipe also in this cookbook) is my fav rustic bread recipe in the book.
check out for the recipe.

I did not make this week's recipe, Palmiers, because a) I did not know how to pronounce them, b) L has been dating up a storm and was not lurking around my kitchen making my baking assignments and c) I have had to work insane hours in order to get ready for my presentation at the San Diego ACS conference next week.
these are the Palmiers I did not make. (I think in the future I will get all of my photos from google, they look better than what I normally take)

Wednesday started off odd. O fell asleep at 7 on the couch (as he had stayed up all night on Monday) and, try as I might to make him go to bed, he could not be moved. Then, in the dead of night, the doorbell rings. I jumped wildly out of bed and started running around to find some appropriate door answering clothing. O, meanwhile, wanders off the couch and to the door to find a middle aged, worn out looking woman, holding a suit case. He thought "well this is bizarre, but she doesn't look like she can over power me and I can't just leave her out there" so he opens the door and says "Hello" really loudly (that is the last time I'm letting O open the door in the middle of the night-he would let just anybody in!) Well the lady says (in a gravelly voice according to O) "Delivery" and O says he was like "who makes deliveries at 4 in the morning?" but the lady was already loping off across the lawn, suitcase left at the door. (turns out, my cousin's bag did not make it on his flight and they delivered it to us that night). Well, it was hard to get back to bed after that, I was on something of an adrenaline high. I did manage to fall dead asleep 10 minutes before I was supposed to wake up and consequently felt groggy the rest of the morning.

Then, instead of making my Palmiers that night, (several people had major probs with these so maybe it was just as well) I came home around 9 and O and I decided to make dinner (we are trying to only eat out on the weekends, due to the fact that we never cook anymore). O got all of the stuff for BLTs (bread, microwavable bacon, bc the real stuff seems extremely difficult to make, lettuce, mayo, and a tomato) and we ate away. I personally don't do tomatoes. I realized that night that tomatoes are the only food I hate that I actually know what the taste is. As I was cleaning up, I dropped a jar of mayo on the floor and the contents jumped up all over me. It was terrible. I sat down to finish a TV show after a break for cleaning and suddenly suffered a neck spasm. I thought-well I have not done anything to have brought this on (normally they come when I turn around too fast, do a double take, or shake my head while spraying hair spray) so I got online to see what could have caused it. It turns out-stress! Well I certainly was stressed, having just watched a boat load of mayo bounce up onto my black leggings (which I wear everyday now) and my Missoni sweater! (Everything has been taken care of now.) So, as any of you who have had a terrible neck spasm know, I was in intense pain and could not move my head any direction except down. I started reading around online to see if other people had this problem and what I could do to treat it (in the past, it has taken as long as a week or more to feel any better!) and I came across this. I tried reading it to O but was laughing so hard I (which caused not an insignificant amount of pain) that I never made it past word 3.
i a rare lamb dinner the other night, i was on the toilet and somehow i threw my neck out. i have to sleep facing up and now i am in day # 4. i cant understand for the life of me how this happened! ice is working well, and im on the tylenol diet. i have a couple main questions: 1. how long can this last? 2. can you take tylenol with advil?. 3. should i combine ice and heat treatments? ice is working and so does heat, but im getting the picture that too much heat and moving around swells the area up a bit. everyday ive still felt the pain in my neck ive wondered “ok, thats day number ____” how much longer?” neck is the worst ailment ever. thanks. (O just read this and did not even laugh so maybe it is only funny if you are currently unable to move your head and can sympathize/wonder at the violence of the illness that caused this person to a) throw his neck out and b) be on a tylenol diet)
The "neck doctor" online said to take advil, apply heat, and then have a light massage. So, I took advil, heated up my bean bag (which now smells like burned popcorn bc last time I needed it O accidentally cooked it waaaayyyyyyy toooooooooo long in the microwave) (and that was a shame bc I burned popcorn at work that afternoon and already smelled like burned popcorn) and got out the electric massage machine that O picked up somewhere (not a surprise, O has an entire drawer in the bathroom dedicated to little massage wooden things, and yes, those get out....never) (now O is offended-I was laughing like a (an?) hysterical hyena, practically breaking my rips, and he asked what was going on and I had to tell him I was laughing about his massage rollers). Anyhow, the trio treatment helped quite alot. (Thursday morning I had to get out my burned bean bag again and wear it around on my way to work (bc I did not think I would be able to change lanes without it) and then I wore it periodically throughout the day as you are supposed to apply heat several times daily. I wrapped up the day with another torture session with the massage machine and by Friday I was miraculously much better-not perfect, but not in intense pain).

Thursday night I saw the Hunger Games and loved it! (I loved the books and the movie was fantastic!)
Other than that I have been on the Marni craze (of course, I get caught up in fads so easily...)
Here is the perfect quote to sum it all up:
(a Marni fanatic who has been going to H&M daily to look for things that have been returned posted this on FB)
"Taking night off to be with hubby it's our 26th wedding anniversary. If anyone sees my unicorn please grab. Color block dress 4 or 6."

Well, until tomorrow.

And for the Palmiers Recipe:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Babka, Bacon, and Blue hair.

I have held out for as long as I can and under fear of getting kicked out of my baking club I must give up on waiting for wailings and clamourings for my posts and resign myself to the fact that I have a very small fan club and post anyways.

here are the peanut butter cookies from a few weeks ago. I cannot remember the last time I made plain peanut butter cookies and I really was not expecting much. However, I realized, after days and days, that these were pretty good. I made them on Wednesday and Saturday my tasting panel (aka Kristy) thought they were awesome (which is saying something as I generally only believe in cookies directly from the oven). I compared them to the Simply fridge break and bake cookies and.... these were better (crazily enough, I was not sure before I tried them). For the recipe look a few weeks back at this blog

Everyone was taking these great photos with stacks of 4 cookies. They looked delish and I thought "well, I can do better than that, I can stack way more than 4 cookies". It turns out, the level of appeal is not directly proportional to the number of cookies in the stack.

I also made this from Rachel Ray (I cook so infrequently these days that I can afford to blog about any real meal I make)

Follow your parent's advice, it turns out they do know what is best! A few weeks ago I finally took my mom's advice. Over a year ago, she had a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory that had 'the most beautiful blue hair' which led to the suggestion that I dye my hair blue. Well, I wanted to try out a certified curly hair expert (schooled in a method developed by my all time fav curly hair author!!) to see if there really were any tricks to the trade I did not already know of and while I was there, I decided I ought to appease my mother and go blue. That was hard. Hours and hours and several deep conditions later I looked like a fluffy Tibetan Mastiff with a tinge of purple hair. Another day and another dye left me with lovely navy locks. I was quite in love. The following three days saw me scared to death to handle my new high maintenance hair. When I finally unbundled it for a wash, I was aghast at the blue water running out and quickly pony-tailed it back up. I have washed it a few times more and am starting to believe it can be handled in a relatively standard way. I totally love the color (though it seems to be lightening up at an alarming rate) and would color my whole head if I thought it might stay. I think next time I am going to go for streaks instead of just the ends.

Next, O ran off to China and L and I were left to eat babka.
Babka is an Easter bread from Eastern Europe. I must say, it tastes just like a cinnamon roll without cream cheese frosting. If you like cinnamon rolls, this is great. If you like cream cheese frosting, this is a bad thing. I am in the cream cheese group. I did eat an entire roll however so they must not have been too bad :) However, once one roll was done, I had no desire to ever see another again.

Then, while I was hunting for cream cheese in the fridge (which I sadly did not have) I found some bacon. O and I never make real bacon, that is the ultimate cooking project in my mind. However, O likes BLTs and so he gets the bacon that comes in sealed plastic bag thing that you cook in the microwave for 2 minutes and I am starting to become accustomed to another part of a pig that is not ham (in general, I do not eat pork, only ham). So, in the end, I had Babka and Bacon. I thought it might be strange but L pointed out that people often eat both cinnamon rolls and bacon for breakfast. In the end, it was a good way to end the night. Babka recipe here:

So, I am still baking for the club. Ask me if you want recipes.