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Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

Although you wouldn’t be able to tell it
I’ve moved.

Here’s my new address:

www.apronless.com

I will be shutting this blog down soon
and posting at apronless.com from now on
so update your RSS feeds and whatnot.

I’m still putting up curtains and hanging pictures
but I’ve put out the welcome mat
so feel free to drop in whenever you’d like.

There will be cake over there soon
and you know you wouldn’t want to miss that.

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Real Nuggets of Genius

I had grand plans for this weekend.

I was going to finish the Taco Truck Crawl entry I have in draft stages
upload photos from the Bivalve throwdown
help out at a wedding
attend a party
and probably bring about world peace.

Instead
I was up in Austin for the weekend
playing a key role in Project: Distraction.

One of my younger sisters is in a miserable spot right now
so I decided that she needed some silliness
noise
and a shoulder to lean on if she needed it.

I couldn’t and can’t help her in any other way
even by making her food.

She can’t hold down much right now
save for some Ensure drinks
so I felt incapacitated all weekend.

Nothing like feeling helpless while a loved one suffers.

I have NOT had the problem of being unable to eat.
I think I Hoover up everything as I go past it.

My waist, thighs, and hiney are not very happy about it
so this week I’ve tried to incorporate several truly healthy meals.

I say ‘truly’
becaue I’ve got a split pea soup and a butternut squash galette on the menu
that both sound healthy
but I know a soup loaded with savory chunks of pork
and a galette with a tender yeast crust are not all that great for a diet.

I am not on a diet
lest I give you the wrong impression
but those are not things that will help keep me in shape.

To counter the faux-healthy meals
I will be making fattoush with a puckery lemon dressing one night
as well as a low fat turkey meatloaf another night.

It’s taken me 25 years to finally accept ground turkey as an acceptable stand-in
on some occasions
for ground beef.

Cook’s Illustrated uses 93% lean turkey in a few low fat recipes
and they took my by surprise at how good some of the ground turkey recipes are.

Bearing that in mind while the Beef Lover in me screams
“TRAITOR!”
I’ll give their turkey meatloaf a shot
and throw some mashed carrots and steamed broccoli on the side as well.

Even though I will be trying to refocus on healthy eating this week
tomorrow is Monday
which means Cakeday.

I was thinking about doing a dobos torte
but I am beat from the weekend
so I think I will try something less time consuming.

I’ve picked it out already
and most of the elements are not new
so I am putting off making it until tomorrow.

This could be a very bad thing
or it could turn out like the last time I did that
which was carroty-goodness-overload.

I made a carrot cake in only a few hours and had none left to bring home.

That’s a good thing.
That’s my goal with my cake-a-week.
I don’t always make that goal
but it is what I strive for.

If I keep having cake to bring home
then I’ll end up with a bajillion little pieces of cake.

I don’t know what to do with a bajillion little pieces of cake.
Maybe put it in ice cream?

:crickets:

…WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE!?

I need to write more often if these nuggets of GENIUS are what come of it.

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Getting to It

I have immersed myself in cooking for the past six years.

I have notebooks strewn around the house
cookbooks underfoot in every possible room
and a tablet in my desk drawer at work
scribbled on when I have a few minutes
recording my last try in the kitchen
and was a dish worthy of producing again–
an “ask for” meal I call them.

If someone isn’t asking for it
it’s probably not all that great.

Granted, that “someone” asking for the meal is usually my husband
because the dogs don’t count.

They ask for things like onion peelings
staring silently 
standing at the edge of the kitchen,
lying down if they sense that mom will be in the forbidden room for a while.

They know not to come in while I’m in there
a tiny kitchen in a tiny house
has no room for two dogs snuffling around in while I am juggling hot pans.

All bets are off as soon as I step out of the kitchen however.
They snuffle hoover up any microscopic object that may have dropped.

Onion peels are sought after as much as a morsel of ground beef;
they are not picky eaters.

Most of the time I put a baby-gate up to keep them from going in
because my biggest culinary fear
is to watch my guests pucker up their mouths
and then politely extract a crimped dog hair from their half-chewed food.

I have always been interested in food
and started seriously cooking when I was 18.

I accumulated a few cookbooks
and subscribed to (many) cooking magazines.

Last year I gave myself a goal of following one new recipe a week
since it didn’t make sense to have years of back-issues of Gourmet, Saveur,  Cook’s Illustrated, Food + Wine, (ad infinitum)
or to have any of the cookbooks I somehow kept collecting
if I wasn’t putting them to good use.

I got off to a rough start
but by December I had 52 new recipes under my belt.

Last year saw the introduction of cakes, icings and candy
flank steak, skirt steak, and chicken thighs
prime rib roasts, oxtails, and simple pastry crusts.

This year I gave myself the same goal
and threw in another one.

This year I shall conquer bread and pie crusts.
52 recipes shall be followed
and I shall not swear (too much) while making them.

Never in my life has bread cooperated with me.
My mother and grandmother had no problem turning out beautiful loaves
hand-kneaded and loved upon
but mine looked like something out of the Yeast Lagoon
and bread baking generally induced a level of terror in me that was unhealthy for one’s well-being.

Pie crusts just made me angry.
Every time.
Pull away here, crack here, and there it now goes, through the window.

I am proud to say that my bread skills are coming along.

Its almost July
I’ve completed 52 new recipes
but only have 17 or so yeast breads under my belt
and the pie crusts remain untouched.

Summer should be the perfect time for making fruit pies
but I recently got an ice cream maker
(like cookbooks, my small appliance collection is growing)
and that is quite distracting.

There have been more ice cream bowls in our house than pie plates
and I should get to fixing that.

All in good time.  

Maybe I will proclaim December as Pie Month in our household.
30 days, 30 pies…
and a whole angry household of pied-out residents.

Maybe I should just get to it.
We’ll see.
The ice cream maker might work its magic once more.

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