Archive for the 'food' Category

snacks and books for cozy days

It’s true, Oriental flavored Ramen is my very favorite snack, and — apart from a lasting affair with melted cheddar on rice cakes — it always has been (incidentally, it is one of the few foods on earth that R hates). I add carrot, celery, scallion, sesame oil, and today, a handful of spinach, to mine.

We are normally not book-buying people. But our micro-library was having some trouble getting a few titles I wanted, and I found them used for good prices. It is an untold luxury to have a huge stack of new books that are all mine — no due dates here, my friends.

Rained all Saturday. Snowed all Sunday and straight through the night. Blah.

wings + muffins + birds + free

Butterfly wings and tutus were among the girls’ first requests this morning. Before breakfast, even.

We made Dorie’s Allspice Crumb Muffins yesterday, and they are delectable — hot from the oven, at room temperature, or split, toasted, and spread with jam the next morning. Whether they are equally delicious at 9:30 pm the next day may be about to be tested.

Lizzy wanted to take some birdseed outside yesterday. She put the bowl on the ground, stepped back a few paces, and shouted, a la Frog and Toad, “Hey, birds! Here’s some birdseed! You can come and eat some if you’re hungry!”

Unrelated: I about peed my pants when I saw Katrina’s post yesterday about the free images and textures available at Mellowmint and downloaded 10 zip files, which I just now remembered that I still need to organize in my desktop file.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{paper + stitches via Mikitoko}

YES! yesyesyesyesyesyesyes

It’s alive! Practically overnight, my starter went from producing a thin layer of bubbles to breaking forth in rolling, bubbling foam. The magic key: aeration. In Whole Grain Breads, Peter Reinhart suggests whisking up your starter a few times a day as a simple cure for sluggishness — and boy howdy, zippity doo dah, and hallelujah, it worked!

This is the best bread that’s come outta this kitchen yet. (By the way, this is Vermont Sourdough with Rye from this indispensible book…if you want one serious book about sourdough, this is the one.) It would be hard to overstate how excited I am. Amped, people. I have been trying (granted, in a very on-and-off fashion, but still) for five years to get this right, so I am totally totally totally stoked to continue on this path and try more advanced formulas. CAN I GET A YEE-HAW!!

I really hope this is not a fluke.

I could kiss every single one of you on the mouth.

snow day, dreaming of food

Bread progress is happening. I was having trouble getting my sourdough culture off the ground, but I think it’s just about ready to rock. The last loaf I made was so flat and misshapen, I was too depressed to take a picture of it. A few days later I made some ciabatta (not using sourdough), which turned out really nicely.

A couple of months ago we started getting raw (unpasteurized, unhomogenized) organic milk from a local farmer (more info on raw milk here). It tastes completely different from store-bought milk, and I feel good about having it for my family. Depending on where you live, it can take quite a bit of sleuthing to track it down, but if you can find a source — particularly if that source is organic — it’s totally worth the trouble. And it makes the best yogurt.

Also, the farmer from whom I buy milk is Amish. As in, buggy-drivin’, straw hat-wearin’, Dutch-speakin’ Amish. I read a fascinating book that helped me understand their culture a little bit better. It really is a different world, and it captures my imagination every time I visit.

I think I need one of these fancy chocolate bars, but I’m not sure whether I’d pick the A’Chocolypse or the Peanut Butter & Chipotle. Speaking of which, we made some peanut butter ice cream last night (that I totally forgot to take pictures of) and ate it with brownies and hot fudge sauce. Yep.

The Man got a snow day from work today, yee haw! So we are snuggling in by the fire, building trains, cleaning floors, stitching things, baking bread, watching movies, and napping (happy sigh).

boo, yay

Boo: I baked my new sourdough starter’s maiden loaf this week, fully expecting it to be everything a loaf of sourdough should be (we’ve discussed this before). I babied that sucker like you wouldn’t believe. FLOP. It didn’t rise a dang centimeter. Inedible. Useless. Would have broken a window (that was R’s comment). Nice crust, though.

Yay: Pannetone (on the windowsill above the botched bread) was on sale for $1 a box at Price Chopper, which we’ve recently discovered is the high-end grocery store around here. Never woulda guessed it with a name like that.

Boo: Speaking of high-end, tomorrow’s high temperature is zero degrees. Ze.Ro.

Yay: I got to spend a seriously blissful hour this afternoon in my studio!

I still hesitate to use the word, because it feels so uppity, and I keep calling it “the basement” or “the spare room” while R rolls his eyes. Whatever it is, today was the first time I really had a chance to sew in it (so far it’s mostly been sewing storage; I like to sew in the kitchen at night so I can hang out with R). It feels so good to have a space I can call my own, where I can create and rock out and leave the scissors out and not worry about what little hands might do with them. Today I rocked out mostly to The Beatles. Right before I met R, I was dating a guy who loved The Beatles, but only the pre-LSD I-wanna-hold-your-hand Beatles. Then I met R, who loves the Beatles, but only the post-LSD-we-all-live-in-a-yellow-submarine Beatles. Oh I’m so glad I married that man.

Yay: I won this awesome charm pack on Giveaway Day, and it came this week (thanks, Rebecca)! Even better, my rad brother and his wife sent us this amazing box of multi-flavored Joe Joes. Oh my goodness. Let’s just say that these may or may not have had something to do with me breaking my diet early.

last words for 2010

There is so much I want to share with you on this New Year’s Eve-Eve. So I think that bullet points would probably be most efficient —

if you like energy bars…

R loves taking energy bars to work, but does not love the price tag. He asked me if I could find a recipe to make something comparable at home. I found a really cool article at Chow with four different recipes. We started at the top with their Figgy Fuel Bar, which is way super crazy tasty.

I used peanut instead of almond butter, apricots instead of figs (ok, so Apricotty Fuel Bar?), and started with whole almonds, ’cause I already had some on hand. But dang! They’re good.

Cost-wise, they’re somewhere around 75 cents a piece — not cheap, per se, but better than $1.25. I think some of the other recipes will be even less expensive, and some of the ingredients (like puffed rice cereal) will only need to be purchased once to make several batches of bars. I’m amped to try the other three recipes — they all look so good.


I'm Amanda. I love color. I love treats. I love texture. I love my babies. I love my man. I love faith. And I love that you stopped by!
The Modern Marigold


themodernmarigold {at} gmail {dot} com

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