Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sharing My Kitchen

Words cannot describe how much I love this photo! It's like a treasure hunt into my life. 

My husband has a new hobby which is  excellent because he needs something fun to do during all the hours away from his work. And the best news is that I will benefit from said hobby - in fact I'm thrilled!

He has decided to learn how to bake bread - real, honest to goodness bread. Not from the bread machine or from a starter kit, no! Real yeast, real kneading, real rising, and real baking stones.

He conquered bagels a few days ago and we have been feasting on bagels morning, noon, and night.

Yesterday he worked on 'pain a l'ancienne' which is a gorgeous loaf of bread made 'in the traditional way,'  (not the 'ancient' way.)

Last night he started some pizza dough. How tasty will that be? (I take pizza very seriously!)

But here's the thing that I find most interesting - it's happening in MY kitchen...... Did you really look at the photo of my KITCHEN? I sit nearby while the flour is floating all over the place and wonder to myself if it'll ever get wiped up. The spraying of water directly on my 500 degree oven walls was fun to watch. (sarcasm).

Twice in the past few days, I have changed my finely tuned menu to accommodate those loaves of perfection; who wouldn't prefer a bagel sandwich over a plate of leftovers or the pain a l'ancienne and sharp cheddar over Asian noodles?

All this has caused me to evaluate my ownership of the kitchen in our house; I am finding out that I'm a 'kitchen-hog' of the worst kind! I don't like it!

So as my husband develops his awesome new hobby, I will work on my attitudes about sharing space in OUR home. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Tofu Mushroom Stir Fry - keeping it simple

This would be an excellent recipe for those of you who are unfamiliar with using firm tofu. I conquered my fear of tofu a few years ago and now it's a staple in my kitchen. It's so handy for a quick meal! Cheap and filling. And so simple! And delicious! And nutritious!

This is also a good beginner recipe for using shiitake mushrooms - please tell me you're not still using only button mushrooms.  I can't get over how delicious shiitakes are. They are probably not as cheap as button mushrooms, but the improvement in flavor is worth it.

At first I thought there would not be enough sauce for 4 portions, but it's plenty. My guys added Sriracha sauce and I added just a splash of extra soy sauce.

Tofu Mushroom Stir Fry (from Bon Appetite)

1 lb extra firm tofu, cut in 1/2 inch cubes, blotted dry on a cotton towel or paper towels.
Sprinkle 2 t corn starch, 1 T soy sauce, some hot pepper flakes over tofu cubes.
Fry in 1 T corn oil until brown, flip over and continue browning pieces of tofu. Set aside.

1 lb shiitake and button mushroom mix. Remove stems from shiitakes and tear them in biggish pieces.

1 bunch green onions, cut in 1 inch pieces.

1 knob of ginger, sliced thinly or grated.

Saute mushrooms, onions, and ginger in 1 T corn oil until brown in some spots.

1 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T mirin (rice wine)

Mix tofu, mushrooms, and sauce. Heat up and serve over white rice

Garnish: sesame seeds.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Citrus-Pistachio Couscous Salad

 Looking to lighten up your meal plans this coming month? Here's a light and delicious salad for you to try. I used to make this all the time when I was younger and for some reason, it slipped out of my regular rotation. You can see I have it scratched on the inside cover of my old-favorite "Moosewood Cookbook."

I remember eating this at a neighbor's house and asking for the recipe. She blurted out a few things and I ran home and scribbled them down. I'm not even sure I got it half right. And I know for certain that back then, couscous seemed very exotic! In fact, the woman herself seemed exotic to me .... I don't really remember why though. Her daughter and my daughter were little friends and would spend long afternoons playing together and eating at each others' houses. Mom and I were friendly and almost 'girlfriends,' so it was completely bizarre when we woke up one morning to find they had moved during the night! House was entirely empty of people and items! I have no idea what happened to them, but I whenever I see this recipe, I am transported back to that mysterious event and I will always wonder about it.