Monday, August 31, 2009

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

So I had success in my kitchen today.  It really amazes me that I start with a ball of dough that looks like this……………..

 

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…………….and end up with a gorgeous loaf of bread. 

 

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This big boy is not only full of healthy and fiberific whole wheat, it also contains lots of oatmeal.  The soaker consisted of 1 1/3 cups oats soaked in milk overnight. 

 

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I had two pieces of it with mozzarella cheese, an egg and zucchini “fries” for dinner tonight.  Even thought the bread looks heavy and thick, it is very moist and has a great chewy texture. I think that D is really going to like this bread.

 

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For lunch I actually had some of the Bran Broom Bread I made last week.  This bread is super yummy too.  I melted some muenster cheese on one piece (the other slice had un-melted muenster), along with a side of veggies – red pepper, zucchini and summer squash. 

 

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I also had a plain Chobani with a tablespoon of hempseeds. This combo was fabulous. I love the little crunchy texture they added to the creamy yogurt. 

 

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So I think that I found something else that causes havoc to my skin – Palm Oil.  I received some samples of Barney Butter at the Healthy Living Summit and I ate it a couple times.  Well I have some serious cysts forming on my face – not a pretty sight. Plus they are SOOOOOO painful.  I have not been eating soy so it has to be something new.  I am now remembering that my skin was not doing well when I ate the PB & Company products (I cut them out a while ago since I was unsure about Palm Oil). I am positive that it was the palm oil because I woke up with the new creatures the day after I ate the Barney Butter.  I really hope these things heal soon – they really are painful. 

Well that is all for tonight.  I hope you had a great day.

What have I been doing?

Sorry to go MIA this weekend – I promise to share the goods with you now. Since Charlie had the day off on Friday, we decided to head into the city.  We went to Harvard Square for lunch to a pizza place called The Upper Crust.  There are multiple locations around the city but this one happened to be the one of our choice that day.  We have also been to the Beacon Hill and Brookline locations.  

Most of their pizzerias are very small (at least the 3 that we have been to) and always busy.

 

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I love the pizza pans hanging from the ceiling. 

 

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D was super excited to get his slice of pizza – he loves this place. 

 

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As does Charlie.  He tried the slice of the day which was mushroom and Canadian bacon.

 

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This was my first slice of pizza in months (I never attempted gluten free pizza). It was AMAZING. I love the super thin crust. 

 

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After lunch we walked around Harvard Square for a while.  We ventured into Sweet since their cupcakes are all the rage.

 

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Charlie tried the vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.

 

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D had a Caramel Macchiato which was super sticky from the caramel drizzle.  He mostly just wanted to lick the frosting off the top.  I think he is more of a frosting fan than a cake fan. 

 

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We had a great day together in the city.

Other things that I have been up to over the weekend -

Lots of doughy goodness. 

I tried my hand at Whole Wheat Rolls (recipe from King Arthur). 

 

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They came out fabulous. 

 

 

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Look at how light and fluffy they are.  They taste so delicious.  I made 2 egg and cheese sandwiches on them for dinner last night.  I think next time I will make bigger rolls instead of 16 tiny ones. 

 

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I also made a sweet dough. I think Charlie has been asking for a sweet bread treat for months now.  He literally ate a loaf of Brioche that I made a while ago in like one day (that was back before the blog so it was well over a year ago).  Yeah, he has been waiting a while. 

I made him Cinnamon Buns (recipe from King Arthur – can you tell I love their recipes).

 

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Hot and steamy from the oven.

 

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Iced and ready for eating.  I think I saw his eyes roll into the back of his head while he was eating one.  I guess you could say I did good. 

Some day I would really love my own bakery. I told Charlie my medium of choice is dough.  I love the work involved in creating all these delicious doughy delights.  As an artist I have that desire to get my hands involved – it is very therapeutic. 

 

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Onto this morning.  I got my legs moving bright and early. I started with a 5.5 mile run and then finished the loop back to my house with a 2 mile walk.  It was a chilly yet refreshing start to the day.  I saw kids waiting for the bus today so I am guessing that today is the first day back to school.

Today’s bowl of oatmeal was a new concoction.  I bought a bag of hulled hempseeds at Whole Foods yesterday and decided to top my creamy bowl of oats with some.  

 

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I cooked up 1/2 a cup of oats with 1/2 a cup of milk and 1/2 a cup of water.  I added cinnamon and a banana during the cooking process.  Once the mix was in my bowl I added a tablespoon of the hempseeds.

I love them!! They have a great nutty taste and mingled well with the sweetness from the banana and the cinnamon. I am definitely going to try some in my yogurt later. 

 

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Ok, that is all for now. I have a soaker and a biga waiting to be kneaded into a loaf of bread.  I am not buying bread anymore so I must make sure that my guys have something to make a sandwich on.  This one is a new flavor.  Come back later for details – it looks like it is going to be a yummy one. 

Have a great day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Goodies from my Kitchen

Yesterday I ended up making some really great baked goodies.  I will go for weeks without baking and then I get hit with the baking bug and can’t stop.  It probably helps that I can now eat what I bake.  Yup, the wheat is not bothering me – at least the wheat products that I have added back in.  I am sticking to the minimally processed goods – mostly the stuff from my own oven.

The first thing that came out of my oven was the Oat Bran Broom Bread (recipe from the Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart).

His technique for bread baking is different from Rose’s (The Bread Bible is one of my favorite baking books) and the King Arthur Flour bread recipe that I made last week.

So now I have made bread using 3 different methods which I find very interesting – like a science experiment. I actually kneaded this dough by hand – very therapeutic.  Here is the loaf resting in the pan.

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Look how lovely it is after rising for an hour and a half. 

 

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My beauty fresh from the oven. 

 

 

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I tested the bread for dinner with Barney Butter and a piece of mozzarella cheese.  It is delicious – soft and chewy at the same time.  Honestly, I like the flavor of the Whole Wheat bread better so I am going to try the recipe for WW bread from this book next.  Maybe the bran was the flavor component that I found to not be as scrumptious. 

 

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I also made a batch of Whole Wheat Oatmeal Muffins.  The recipe needs some tweaking so I will share it with you when it is A+.  I sampled one and although I think they are light and fluffy – the sweetness department needs work.  I did not want a very sweet muffin and trust me these are not.  I am just happy to be able to sink my teeth into a fresh baked muffin that does not have the texture of a brick.  Remember I had no luck with the gluten free baking.

 

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I made a quick run to Whole Foods while my bread was rising in hopes that I would be able to find a Whole Wheat Pita.  I was thinking it would be nice to make Pita Pizzas.  Well even the Whole Foods brand contained soy – the 8 inch ones.  The mini ones do not but they looked really dried out.  Instead I chose a bread that I have never tried before.  It is very dense and super chewy. 

 

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I topped a couple pieces with avocado and it was delicious.  Nothing like a typical yeast bread but still a winner.  I love anything earthy and hearty so this bread is perfect for my tastebuds.  The texture was palate pleasing as well.

 

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Today my honey has the day off so I am hoping that we can venture out for a day of family fun. I started my day bright and early with a 6 mile run followed by a 1.6 mile walk.  I actually really love to walk after my runs. It cools me down and stretches my legs.  Plus it was so refreshing outside this morning that I just could not get enough of the fresh air.  It was another chilly morning but oh so enjoyable. 

I made myself a bowl of Cinnamon Strawberry Oats for breakfast.  The typical stovetop method works the best for fluffy and creamy oatmeal. 

 

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Time to go see what my guys are up to – I bet they are playing video games.  I hope you have a great Friday. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Great Day for Baking

Today is much cooler here in MA.  Yesterday we were literally melting into puddles and today I could easily be comfortable in pants. 

I did have to wear a jacket and pants when I went out for my run this morning.  My hands were even a bit numb when I got back to my house.  It was a great 6.5 mile run and honestly I much prefer running with a slight chill in the air.  I do enjoy the warmth of Summer but Fall is my favorite time of the year.  

Breakfast this morning was rather Fall inspired – Apple Cinnamon Oats.

 

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I added cooked chopped apple pieces to the oats during the cooking process. I left the skin on the apple this time and it did not cause a funny texture.  The end result was very palatable.

 

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Since it is so breezy out this morning, I have my windows open. I love the fresh air streaming through the house.  It is a great day for baking as well. I have my latest bread dough experiment rising. We will be sinking our teeth into freshly baked bread today – yum!!!  I am looking forward to the aroma of baking bread penetrating the house.  As I said before, it is one of my favorite smells. 

Do you have a favorite scent? Is it food related, floral or do you prefer a more exotic smell? I love the smell of lilacs and lavender.  I also often find myself gravitating toward the exotic smells of jasmine and coconut.

I hope you have a fabulous Thursday. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

He loves dirt

Good evening, I hope you all had a great day. 

This morning D and I took a walk to the bookstore and did some browsing.  I told him he could get a snack while we were there. Of course he chose a cookie the size of his head.  The kid has self control and only ate half.  I bought a new bread baking book – Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads.  I am already in love with it and I have something already started.  I really do love to bake bread – probably my favorite thing ever.  

The walk was glorious even though it was HOT!

When we got home it was way past lunch time so I whipped up something fast.  D had grilled cheese and I had sliced veggies, mozzarella cheese and avocado on my homemade whole wheat bread. 

I also had a plain Chobani and an apple but this was much prettier to photograph.

 

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After lunch we went out in the backyard.  My child LOVES dirt!!!  He seriously would spend all day rolling in it if I let him.  You have no idea how hard it is for me to watch him make such a mess. Yes, I am a bit of a clean freak but I just have to let him be a boy. 

“Mommy don’t freak out, it is just dirt.” 

 

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He was racing his cars in the dirt.  That is when the huge dust cloud surrounded him.  He looked like Pigpen from Charlie Brown. 

 

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Eventually the cars ended up submerged and he lost them. Thankfully Mommy was able to recover them.

 

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Finally he started rolling in the dirt and he was covered from head to toe. That was about all I could take so it was into the shower to clean up Mr. Grubby.  I am not joking, I had to soap him up twice in order to get all the black off – he was FILTHY!!! 

Then I made him a milkshake.

 

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And he gave himself a brain freeze.

 

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Later I took him to my hairdresser for a haircut and look who was under all that hair.

Does he not look 2 years older?  I almost cried. Ok, so yes I am going to have to say this because he is my son – Man is this kid handsome!!!! He is growing up too fast. 

 

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Now for the winner of the Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce.

Meredith who said her favorite condiment is horseradish mustard.

Congrats Meredith! E-mail me your address and I will send your bottle of sauce. 

Well that is all for today. Time to go wash this face mask off – it is feeling a bit tight.  Then I am going to go flip through my new bread baking book – it is full of so much great info.  See you tomorrow.

Jillian, Chalene and Me

When I got up this morning I was in the mood for a different workout but yet I wanted it to be challenging.  I have a decent collection of fitness DVDs so I decided to do a workout in my living room using a couple of them. I spent some time with Jillian and Chalene.  Man both these ladies sure know how to work it and get you pumped up.  I must say, I was successful in the challenging part.  I am sure that I have said this before but I will say it again. You do not need to go the gym to get a great workout. Just find a few fitness DVDs that really challenge you and you are good to go.  I was a sweaty mess at the end and could not wait to hit the shower.  

Today’s breakfast was Cinnamon Strawberry Oats.  I accidentally went a little heavy on the cinnamon. When I poured my favorite spice into the pot, a huge pile fell out – oh well, it tasted yummy regardless. 

 

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I stirred in about 1/2 a cup of frozen strawberries and then mashed them up as they thawed. You can see a little berry peaking out under the stream of PB2. 

 

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Today it is supposed to be HOT – like 90 degrees.  I am not sure what is on the agenda for the day. I hope you have a great one. 

Do you have a go to at home workout? Do you like to experiment with different DVDs to see what one really challenges you?  Have you ever tried any of Jillian’s or Chalene’s workouts? I know, I am full of questions today.  I am interested in your answers, plus I like to read your comments.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bike Riding and a Giveaway

This morning I headed to the gym to babysit because one of the other sitters asked me to switch with her.  D’s little girlfriend was there and he was soooooo excited to see her – he is a lady’s man.

The weather has been so fabulous today so this afternoon we got some fresh air and D rode his bike.  I made a quick video for you all.

 

 

Here is a quick rundown of some of my eats today. 

After my 6.6 mile run I consumed a very delicious bowl of Strawberry& Blueberry Oats (no bananas in the house).  It was AMAZING!!!

 

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Lunch was zucchini spears and an avocado & mozzarella sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread.

 

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I also had a Vanilla Chobani, an apple and PB2 for dipping.

 

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That’s all I photographed today – dinner was a typical salad and another cheesy sandwich.  I was hot and in no mood to cook.  Thankfully Charlie was willing to eat a leftover Sloppy Bob.

The D man and I had a blast tooling around the school parking lot near our house.  He is really getting good with his bike skills.

 

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Now for the giveaway.  Country Bob’s sent me 2 bottles of All Purpose Sauce.  So I am going to share it with you (the unopened one of course).  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite condiment is and what is your favorite thing to eat with it.  I am sure you all can guess mine – KETCHUP!!!!  I could seriously eat it on just about anything but I would have to say I love it on eggs.

I will pick a winner tomorrow night.  See you later – enjoy your night.

*The Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to those who entered.