The bread obsession – Part 2: The defeat

It’s official. I can’t make bread.

To ensure my success, I rewatched all the videos, read all the recipes and made sure I tried to follow things to a ‘t’. This time, I used the baking stone and whole wheat flour and, for all my efforts, I got another inedible bread brick, albeit of a slightly darker colour.

They’re absolutely inedible

Now, in order to gain some pity points, I should mention that it seems there isn’t one bread recipe out there but a million and they all contradict one another. One called for hot water while another claimed hot water killed the yeast and destroyed the bread. Some tell you to knead like there’s no tomorrow, some tell you not to touch the dough. Some say the trick is all in how your dough feels, others say you have to measure things scientifically. It’s pretty confusing.

Did I get any pity points?

Looking back at my first two attempts, I figured I didn’t let my dough sit long enough (only a couple of hours). This time, I let it sit overnight; that’s at least 12 hours of that dough sitting there with nothing else to do but puff up some bubbles. You’d think the resulting bread would be different in some way, right? Nope. The second bread is just as dense and difficult to eat as the first.

Maybe it needs more yeast or a different type of yeast or maybe it needs less kneading or maybe it needs less time to sit…or …maybe it needs me to stand on my head and whirl around a bit.

Or maybe, just maybe, we can go to the store and buy a loaf.

Yum!

We just ate my creation and it was actually really good! (no one was more surprised than I was).

This was the final product

Turns out, the stuffing wasn’t as salty as I feared. It all worked so well. Yum!

Best of all, hubby loved it!

Sunday biz

I usually spend Sunday cooking. Eating mostly plant-based requires a little prepping and time that I just simply don’t have during the busy work week. My Day Job is of the type that I can continue to work at home and, unfortunately, that has had to happen the last week and this weekend. There has been barely any time for petting our beloved akitas and certainly no time for fancy cooking.

But today, I had to get busy with the veggies and beans or we’d be eating peanut butter sandwiches all week.

I chopped some onions

Added some chopped spinach (I had already cooked it) and mushrooms.

So far…nothing very exciting, right?

This is my veggie meat of choice

And these pasta are super healthy

I cheated and got sauce from Costco

And I got this.

Final product. Hubby loved it!

Hubby did love it and, in our house, that’s all it takes to declare it a success. But there was  more.

These aren’t that good for you…but they’re so yummy!!!

I made potato rings that are sooo good. They were right out of the oven and crunchy to boot! And we ate them with home-made refried beans and felt like we were in heaven.

Now for the week, I’ve made this salad:

I got all these recipes from Oh She Glows. It’s my go-to for something that’s healthy yet yummy. Love it!

Cooking

I wanted to cook something healthy after my trepidation with the World News this weekend. So I went to Oh She Glows for inspiration and found this recipe for Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew.

Here are a few pictures of the beautiful colours of the ingredients and the stew. I had to share them with you.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes with red lentils

Onion cooking

Tomatoes…..just love those colours!

This is the beginning of the stew

This is the end of it

Now, you probably don’t want to burn your hand halfway through like I did and throw the broth all over the kitchen. You probably don’t want to try and clean it while the pot is cooking and basically burn yourself once again while not getting anything cleaner at all.

Otherwise, follow the recipe and things should go fine.

The stew goes amazing with wild rice.

What was my lovely hubby doing while I slaved away in the kitchen, you ask? He was playing with cleaning his truck.

 

Where I recommend things

1. Best. Salad. Lunch. Ever.

Not kidding here. It’s absolutely yummy. So good it tastes like it should be bad for you, or have something in there that’s not the best for you…but it’s actually really healthy to boot!

This is where I got it:

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/09/12/5-make-ahead-vegan-gluten-free-lunches-part-2/

www.ohsheglows.com is a great site for anyone interested in eating savoury meals that are also super healthy. She has vegan stuff, but it’s not limited to that and she’s written two books because her recipes are that amazing. The one I just rambled on about is from her lunch menu and she actually puts it in a pita bread but it’s so yummy, I eat it with a fork. It’s the Brown Rice and Chickpea Salad. Delish.

2. Best How-To-101 reference site for authors out there.

This is where I got it:

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/how-to-101/

I’ve talked about Chris The Story Reading Ape before. He is a never-ending source of great resources for writers of all kinds and, to boot, he’s incredibly kind. But this reference page just blew me out of the water. It’s got everything. And he keeps updating it! No dead links here.

A huge thanks to Chris for his never-ending support of all writers out there!!

Of food, doggie and human

I never leaned how to cook at home. My mom, being a tiny, European woman with a huge personality, thought teaching us kids to cook was making us wash either the potatoes or the pots. As a result, every time she went into the kitchen, we hid. You can’t learn a lot about cooking from inside the inside of a closet.

Now that I’m older, I decided to rectify things….and went to You Tube. There, I could not only hear the recipe, I could see people actually making the dish. It was like having my own private little cooking chef teacher, for free.

The reasons I’m rambling about this is that the style of cooking I chose to learn is vegan. Having the entire world of recipes at my disposal, I wanted to try one with personality…and one that didn’t hurt animals. My husband, who’s got a heart to match his size, decided that was great and we’ve been mostly eating a plant-based diet.

Now, I’m not a good cook. The results I create are edible but they are far from tasty. Being a therapist, my husband is all about positive feed back and the last time I created a salad that was mostly raw garlic, all he said was: “Nothing had to die for us to be able to eat this.”

Nothing indeed.

My doggies, on the other hand, aren’t vegetarian at all. I don’t believe on forcing my beliefs on others and that includes them. After trying different foods, we’ve finally settled on the one we use today. It’s got lamb in it, which makes our fluff balls feel about as soft as satin, it’s approved by our vet. So, for us, it’s a winner. Most importantly, our doggies love to eat it.

Of course, they also eat dirt from our indoor plants.

Before and after

I don’t usually cook.

I get all nervous and tend to make mistakes. They’re never little, tiny ones, either. Once, I somehow switched water for oil in an instant version of stuffing. The result looked more like something from The Walking Dead than anything you want on your plate.

This time, I got the measurements confused and instead of 6 teaspoons of sugar, I added 6 cups of the stuff.

Undeterred, I tried again under the careful eye of my hubby who was still recuperating from his encounter with a wasp’s nest. And we got this.

Before.

IMG_1052

After.

IMG_1053

Yes, they’re edible. Success at last!