Friday, December 30. 2011
Today, I made nisu (also known as pulla) and it didn’t suck.
I used my grandma’s recipe, which is probably older than I am (old!) but scaled it down to make two loaves instead of five.
I got to do two fun things during the course of preparation. The first was scalding milk. I’m pretty sure I’ve done this before on accident, but I never realized I was doing something other than “boiling the milk”. The second was smashing the begeezers out of cardamom seeds with a mallet. I suppose I could have used ground cardamom but NOT AUTHENTIC so I bashed those little seeds to within an inch of their life.
So, outside of making the dough, the process isn’t really too tricky, just long. You make up the dough, then let it rise until it doubles in size, then you knead it for a bit, cut it into sections for braiding (in my case, six sections), braid it up, then stick it back in the oven to rise again. Then you bake it for 30 minutes and when it’s done, brush on a syrup of coffee & sugar. I used the oven to do the rising, first warming it up to 200, then shutting it off and popping in the dough. The first rise took around 90 minutes, the second around an hour.
Here’s the dough after it’s been braided and it’s risen for the second time.
And here’s the finished product. I somehow ended up with one giant loaf and one normal sized loaf so clearly I failed in the dividing up the dough equally section, but overall they look normal ...
… and taste gooood.
Kitties were impressed.
Happy New Year!
Saturday, March 26. 2011
Running Chick in Cats, Food and Drink, New toys, Training
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I wrapped up the fifth week of my training plan with a seven mile run this morning that was about as sucky as they get. I don’t know what was wrong with me, my head just couldn’t get in the game. It could have had something to do with nearly being run over by some asshole in a Maroon Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck on his way to the transfer station. That dumbass cut the corner on his turn toward the transfer station from Gundlach Road and was probably watching the giant semi tractor maneuvering around in the transfer station driveway instead of being on the lookout for anything else, such as the girl decked out head to toe in high-visibility running gear. I took a giant leap to the right to avoid him and let out a string of expletives and hand gestures that would have made a bystander blush. I came very close to going back to the transfer station to yell at him, but figured it wasn’t worth my time. Then it got me thinking that if I were to take a picture of his license plate and go to the police station with a complaint, would they go to talk to him about it? I should ask.
The rest of my run was thankfully uneventful, aside from the nuclear meltdown that was going on in my head. I am well skilled at running through physical pain (although I’m pretty sure that’s not something to brag about), but I am the worst at being able to ignore the negative thoughts running through my head telling me that it too far, it’s too hard, I’m a bad runner, bla bla bla. So I end up stopping, mad at myself for caving in and telling myself to suck it up and get moving. In the last three miles, I stopped six times, three of those times were between 5.5 and 6.0 miles. I was pretty disgusted with myself, but on the bright side, I had a pretty decent run, finishing in 1:09. In case you’re wondering, I do stop my watch when I stop with meltdown issues. I figure why add insult to injury and end up with a shitty split.
My previous runs this week, along with today’s were 3 miles @ 9:46, 3 miles @ 9:42 and 7 miles @ 9:59.
I have a easy 3 miler to do tomorrow, which will bring me up to a total of 16 miles this week. Last week I ended with 13 miles @ 9:52. I should have done 16, but the weather was so sucky on Sunday I decided to do a trainer ride instead.
In other news, I made some banana bread this afternoon and just as I was about to press the shutter button, somebody stuck their face in the frame, ruining my perfect shot. Bad kitty.
Oh, and somebody else got a fancy new musical instrument.
Any guesses? Bonus points if you can guess the brand of my shoes in the background.
Sunday, February 20. 2011
It’s been a while since I’ve done a food post, but today I made the mostest yummiest lunch and I couldn’t pass up sharing.
Roasted Tomato Soup
I used this recipe as the base, and tweaked it just a little. I felt like it needed a bit more tomato flavor, so I added 2 Tbsp of tomato paste (I picked up the tomato paste in a tube, it’s so awesome. No more opening an entire can just for a little bit.) and used 1 cup of heavy cream instead of 3/4 cup. I also dialed way back on the amount of olive oil used in roasting the tomatoes & garlic because I thought the soup would end up being oily. I don’t know the exact amount, but I drizzled just enough to give them flavor & help the salt & pepper stick. I also pulled the skin off of the tomatoes before adding them to the pot. It was a bit on the spicy side with the cayenne, so maybe cut back if you don’t like a little kick to your soup.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Homemade wheat bread courtesy of Josh’s bread machine.
Smoked gouda cheese.
Josh’s. Ooey, gooey cheesy goodness.
I wanted to get my veggies in, so I added some baby spinach to mine.
Scout tried valiantly to eat a piece that fell on the floor, but she just couldn’t do it. It took me almost 37 years to like spinach, so maybe one day, Kitty.
I’m not exactly a food stylist, but here’s my attempt at a fancy outdoor shot of my lunch.
Garnish with parsley and enjoy. I did.