~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Instagram

Here's what's been going on with me lately on Instagram...

My dear friend bought me this candle for my birthday and I think it's the best thing I've ever smelled.  Ever!  It's from Bath & Body Works and is called "Pink Sangria."  I wish they made it in a lotion!

Remains of my birthday lunch at PF Chang's.  The Chicken Lo-Mein was amazing!!!

Yeah, I scored 96 points in one turn against my aunt, who is a semi-professional WWF player.  Just to clarify, I have no clue what "Vina" is and didn't know it was a word.  Does that still count?

This is a life-sized self portrait of Baby Girl on her sister's bedroom wall.  The medium of choice- Turquoise Sharpie.  It's still there if anyone wants to come view this work of art 
(and will still be there until I repaint).

She was studying that day.

And loving her dad.

Finally, not yet posted on Instagram, is my husband "hunting" through the kitchen window.  He's out to make all the squirrels in the neighborhood die.  Sorry, animal lovers.  He's had enough of the squirrels that chew through our siding and invade our home.  
Just because I photograph it doesn't mean I'm in favor of it!

By the way, an app that lets you share pictures with all your friends...right up my alley!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Food for the Sick & Sourdough Recipe

I'm cooking for a friend tonight who is recovering from major illness.  He is a Superman kind of guy and it's so hard to see him off his feet.  Two months ago, he suffered a major heart attack.  Apparently, he had been having heart attacks for days and chalked it up to indigestion.  He was AT CHURCH, leading the little kids group in singing Happy Birthday to our pastor while he was having a heart attack.  He had open heart surgery the next morning and barely made it through.

Add to that the fact that he is diabetic.  Like, majorly.

Last week, he was admitted back into the hospital with symptoms mocking another heart attack.  Turns out, it's now his gall bladder.  They told him to adapt a bland diet with no salt, sugar, or fat.  "I've already been doing that!!!" he exclaimed.  Poor guy.

SO, what do you cook for someone who cannot have salt, sugar, or fat.  Talk about a head-scratcher!  I'm a good cook, but I must admit it's the salt, sugar, and fat that makes me a good cook!  I decided on a very bland Chicken Paprikash.  Right now, I'm boiling the chicken with a few onions and paprika.  I will add no salt at all. The potatoes and carrots will be fine for him to eat.  I'm not sure if he can have the dumplings I put in, but I guess he can pick those out.  I'm doubting the quality of this dish and am quite nervous about taking it over!

I'm also making a nice, green salad (no croutons, bacon, or cheese- the good stuff) and a loaf of homemade sourdough bread.  I put a pinch of salt in the bread and cut the butter down.  I think he'll be OK to eat that.  Sadly, I'm not taking a dessert.  I'm the queen of desserts and I feel like one of my arms is missing to deliver a meal without dessert.

My friend has lost 50 lbs. recently...I guess this kind of diet would do that to anyone!!!

A commenter asked for my sourdough recipe.  I've posted about how to begin a sourdough starter and I've shared one recipe.  Here's the recipe I'm using presently:

The night before you plan to bake your bread, feed your starter.  There's supposed to be a lot of math involved, but I add 1 1/2 C bread flour or wheat flour and 1 C warm, filtered water.  My starter is much thicker than before...almost like a lukewarm gravy rather than pancake batter.  Leave the starter on the countertop overnight.  It should double in size and be very bubbly.  Take out what you need and put the rest back in the fridge.  If you leave it out too long (more than 12 hours), you will need to feed it again.  This sourdough needs to be fed every few days.

If that plan doesn't work out for you, feed your starter about noon.  Mix up your dough around 9:00 PM and let it sit on the counter overnight for its first rising.

To mix up your dough, combine:
9 oz. starter for the winter OR 4-5 oz. starter for the summer
1 C filtered water, room temperature
Add 1 1/2 T soft butter and
1 t salt
Finally, add 3 C flour in 1/2 to 1 C increments.

You may need to add more water at this stage.  You don't want to the dough to be dry; soft and slightly sticky is good.  Knead well for 5-6 by machine or 15 minutes by hand.  To check if it's needed well enough, pinch off a small piece, about the size of a quarter.  Stretch it out with your fingers.  If it tears easily, it's not ready. If it stretches almost to the point of being transparent, it's good!

Place in a greased bowl and cover for 3-4 hours or until doubled in size.  After it has doubled, knead it by hand for a minute.  Shape into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel to rise again.  After 3-6 hours, it should rise slightly above the edge of the pan.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

It amazes me that this all works out without any yeast.  If you read my sourdough starter post, you'll see that I was frustrated because my yeast-less dough did not rise.  I'm sure that was my error because the loaves I'm making now rise great!  I think I was given a really good starter this time.  I'm trying to keep it that way!

I don't have a bread machine and I lost the dough hooks to my mixer when we remodeled the kitchen.  Last night, I kneaded two loaves by hand and hope to have killer forearms soon!  :)  This bread is great with butter or for toast.  I have to slice is very thin for sandwiches or it's a bit overwhelming for me.  Just talking about it makes me want a slice.  I just might have to go do that right now!