Around this time of year, I start to have Cooking Light issues strewn about the apartment. I decided to stack them up in one place, and found that I'm not the only one who likes the magazine:
Thank you for your kind thoughts about Butterbean! We really didn't have a preference, but it's awfully nice to know. Turtlegirl, all name suggestions are welcome :) I know the old wives tales are pretty hit-and-miss, but it's fun that they were all right!
Knitting: I should have finished photos of the bunting tomorrow. It's a cute little thing, very snuggly. Snowflake is rather hard to seam (no stitch definition at all), but it's so soft. I just have the hood to put on today. Then I'll cast on for my gift scarf.
Reading: I've been listening to Sour Puss by Rita Mae Brown while working on the bunting, and it's...okay. I've enjoyed her past ones more, I think, though I'm not sure if it's the story or that this is the first I've listened to on audiobook. I'm not sure if she has all these random rants in all her books, and I normally just skim past them. What brand of work boots used to be really good but isn't made well anymore, a long discussion about the best way to irrigate, what kind of car/truck a character should buy. There are a million of them, and they make the story kind of drag.
Writing: Back to writing work tomorrow. I hope to bust out Chapter 7 next week.
Cooking: Lots and lots! It's finally cool enough to want to cook all the time. This morning, I made waffles with a banana-pecan-brown sugar caramelly topping. Yum. We had some rice leftover from eating out at an Indian restaurant, so I made a quick curry, in the genre of "Vaguely Ethnic Food"--not necessarily authentic, but good. And last night, we had a pizza night, and it was the BEST pizza we have ever made. And I did decide to make Cookies and Cream ice milk :)
Quick Chickpea-Spinach Curry
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp curry powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine, rinse well)
2 cups frozen spinach (no need to thaw)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cream
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute one minute. Add curry powder, saute one minute. Stir in all remaining ingredients except cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cream; simmer 5 minutes more. Serve over basmati rice.
Mushroom Lovers Pizza (makes 2)
My new thing is white whole wheat flour, which is much lighter than regular whole wheat flour and can usually be substituted for all-purpose flour, except in very light pastries (I haven't tested this much, but that's what "they" say). My husband was unable to tell there was anything whole wheat in the crust at all, and he can usually detect when I'm trying to make something healthier. Our homemade pizza is always a bit soggy in the middle, which I had previously assumed was just a side effect of using a 400 degree oven instead of an 800 degree one, but this time I tried blind baking the crust before adding toppings, and it was fantastic! The first time, I forgot to poke holes in the crust, and it created a really interesting hilly landscape, so we had to poke holes in the hills and squish the air out. The second time went much better :) If you don't slice the mushrooms very thinly, they will need to be pre-cooked.
1 cup water, warm
3/4 cup milk, warm
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
I put all ingredients in the bread machine on the dough setting. Brush or spray with olive oil. Pierce the crust with a fork several times. Bake at 400 degrees on a preheated pizza stone for 6 minutes, or until golden brown.
8 oz. white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 14.5 oz. can pizza sauce (or about 2 cups homemade)
5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 oz. portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 can black olives, halved
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
Spread pizza sauce evenly over both crusts. Arrange white mushrooms over sauce. Cover with mozzarella. Arrange portabellas and black olives over cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan and thyme. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese bubbles.