Before I write my report on my latest Dorie Greenspan adventure, I felt like it was worthwhile to show you what I managed to accomplish yesterday. I should warn you ahead of time that none of those accomplishments included laundry, which is probably why Chris was shining his iPhone around the room in the dark this morning looking for a pair of socks while trying not to wake me. As you can see, I remained completely asleep while he shuffled frustratedly around the room sighing and tripping over other things I have not picked up in two weeks. I should really get on it today, before I lose my puppy entirely underneath the pile of underwear he’s been secreting off to his bed when he thinks I’m not looking.
I’ve also been meaning to tell you that I’ve started eating mincemeat. Now, this may sound as disgusting as I thought it was when I first heard about it. I mean, canned, chopped-up meat, right? Ew. But it’s NOT canned meat! It’s chopped up apples and raisins and citrus peel in a brown sugar sauce. And while I wouldn’t advocate eating the stuff plain, nor would I suggest accepting any pieces of mincemeat pie that are proffered, it does have one significant and delicious venue: my oatmeal. I eat oatmeal pretty much every day for breakfast because it keeps me full, has few calories compared to other breakfast options, and might help cancel out the cholesterol I introduce to my body via a daily series of butter transfusions. So here is my oatmeal recipe, for those of you who are eccentric enough to like oatmeal to the point of trying new recipes for it. Who’d have thought?
.5 C 1-minute oats, dry
1/8 C mincemeat
1 t sugar
1 packet Stevia or Splenda
1/8 C Silk vanilla creamer
1/2 C hot water (or slightly more, depending on textural preference)
Mix all of the above in a bowl, microwave for one minute, stir and eat.
Grand total for calories: 300
Now, if you’re not so much into oatmeal, but are still looking for a breakfast treat, you’re in luck! Chris doesn’t really “do” oatmeal on mornings when he works, and I try to pack him a breakfast and lunch each night for the next day. I’m aware that this may be a huge leap backwards for feminism or whatever, but may I draw some attention to the fact that I do not work, at all, and that I really LIKE packing his lunch. It assures that he eats, too, which he’s sometimes bad about remembering to do, and it keeps me from being suicidally depressed when I hear that he forgets to eat when it’s basically all I can think about on any given day. Anyway, I was at the grocery store yesterday considering breakfast options for the week. I wandered over to the bakery to grab some bagels, and saw that they were $1.49-$2.49 apiece. For crappy store-bakery bagels! Clip that noise, is what I thought. I can do that at home! I frequently think this without any kind of idea of whether or not I really will be able to do the thing in question at home. That’s neither here nor there, though, so I went home and attempted to make bagels. It is actually REALLY a cool process! And look! Bagels!
The trick to bagels is that you make a regular crusty bread dough, let it rise, pull off balls of dough and poke a wooden spoon handle through the middle. Then you put your thumb in the hole and stretch it out a touch, and then…you boil it in sugar water for a minute! Seriously! Boiled dough! After it’s been boiled, you take it out and roll one side in whatever toppings you desire. Yesterday I desired cinnamon and sugar bagels AND garlic sesame bagels.
So I made some of each without any extra work because it’s the same dough. After it’s been sprinkled with stuff, you bake it for about 20 minutes and you’ve got fresh bagels that are chewy on the outside, dense and soft on the inside (seen at the top of the post), and fresher than any I’ve seen outside of a Einstein Bros. I’m sure as I get better they’ll be prettier, but I was impressed with the first attempt. I also made a cute little mini bagel with some leftover dough, and it was probably the most shapely of the bunch. Smaller dough=easier to work with, I think.
I also determined yesterday that I needed to find a greater purpose for those farmer’s market ‘maters and three vine-ripened ones from the regular market. I went with a simple marinara comprised of garlic, olive oil, fresh lemon basil, salt, pepper, and tomatoes that had been peeled using the boiling water method, then pureed in the blender. It was fresh and good, but it wasn’t feeling pretty. Lately its husband had been coming home from work later and later, and then going directly to sleep. It was wearing pink curlers in its hair and hadn’t had a pedicure in two years. It needed to feel SEXY again. So it got laced with vodka and cream and strutted its stuff into a pile of rigatoni, shredded chicken thigh, and bella mushrooms. Meee-ow! The before picture is uninspired, neglected, and wearing a housecoat. The “after”? Work it…work it…own it. That’s right mama.
Finally, Chris had made an ice cream special request, which he so rarely does. Usually he’s just willing to eat whatever I’ve prepared based on my own whim. He’s appreciative and he does the dishes, which is more than I could possibly even ask for in my dreams. So if he actually requests something, I am more than delighted to make it. The other day he had mentioned black cherry ice cream with chocolate chunks, and so it was.
I made it with fat-free half and half so I could eat it without feeling like I needed to take a potato peeler to my thighs at a later date. This, coupled with black cherry juices, caused it to be a little more icy and less creamy, but I’ll make that trade to enjoy the sweet treasure that is homemade ice cream.