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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Midweek Dog blogging

I am too impatient to wait for the weekend dog blogging, so I am cheating and am putting up pictures of our new baby rotti, Zoe. We got her from a breeder in Lexington, VA on our week long trip. She's the main reason we made a trip to Pensacola, Florida then to Lexington, VA.

She is adorable and as you can see, still quite teeny. She is almost 8 weeks old but she has quite the big mouth. She definitely has personality and she can be quite the fireball at times but each passing day with her is getting better and better. She is getting to know us more and has pretty much figured out her name is Zoe and responds quite well to it now.

The Vet says she'll be fully grown at 6 months. It's hard to imagine a teeny little thing get big in such a short amount of time and I somehow wish that she would stay small. Now, you can pick her up and put her away from things you don't want her near but I highly doubt that will be the case in a couple of months. She has already grown quite a big longer and taller with her ear getting bigger and her feet growing larger each day. I have to remember to cherish the baby cause it won't last very much longer.

Ahh...after a long day of traveling in the car, she has sprawled out by our couch to rest. Cutie pie!

Could I have missed homecooking?

We are finally back from our trip to Pensacola, Florida and Lexington, Virginia! I can't believe I am about to say this but it definitely is good to cook a homemade meal. Eating out kinda gets to ya after a whole week! That and our indecisiveness on where and what to eat.

All I really wanted the past two days at home has been a good bowl of soup with bread on the side and so I decided to make a vege-black bean soup.

1 Carton of vegetable broth
3 celery sticks, sliced diagonally
8 baby carrots, diced
1 can of black beans, rinsed well
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 onion, diced
3/4 C frozen corn
1 chicken breast, diced
some pasta

Now, I am not an expert on making soup but this one actually turned out pretty satisfactory. It was tasty. All I did was sauteed all the vegetables together in olive oil for about 5 minutes then added the drained and rinsed black beans, followed by the tomatoes with it's juices. After that heated through, I tossed in the vege broth and added the chicken and brought it to a boil then let it simmer for a good 20 minutes, adding the pasta 10 minutes into simmering and it's done!

I also have been looking long and hard for a good irish soda bread recipe that didn't include butter and at last while browsing through bakingsheet I came across her wonderful recipe . The only alteration I made was using soymilk instead of buttermilk to make it IBS safe.

Like I said, it's good to be home and cooking again in my very own kitchen. The simple pleasures in life.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


My sushi cravings have been much satisfied tonight.
I wonder why it took so long to fan the rice when we were younger and mom wanted us to help make sushi. Perhaps to keep us occupied...for 3 hours! lol

Sushi filled with cucumber and carrot slices and immitation crab and avocado plus dabs of wasabi. Emm...delicious.

Doin the Jambalaya!!!

This probably sounds a little bizzare but some recipes just scare you to make. In the sense that it seems more complicated than it really is and so I have been putting off making this dish literally for months! After looking up dozens of recipes I finally found one from Nolas Cuisine . Her dishes are so wonderful and after looking over her recipe, it didn't seem like it would take long. It didn't either, I'd say the hands on work took only 15 minutes, the rest was up to the oven. It had a really wonderful mix of spices and cooking the chicken in with the rice in the oven made them so tender. I did leave it in the oven for longer than the specified amount of time just because the rice wasn't cooked all the way through, but I like my rice soft, so go figure. :-) Just preference I suppose. What's more is that my husband liked it, since he's usually not into tomato based dishes, nor into dishes where his food is already mixed up together. Just goes to show what a good recipe can do huh?
Tonights adventure is : SUSHI! I've been craving sushi for such a long time. I am so skeptical of the japanese restaurants here in Dayton, OH. So I purchased a Sushi Kit from work and we'll have to see how far my skills will go. Eek. With the lack of fresh seafood here, I can only make sushi with cooked meat, so basically leaving me to immitation crab. WHOOHOO. We'll see though, it might turn out well.
Oh, I have also noticed a very very weird fascination. I seem to be able to spend over an hour and a half wondering the supermarket aisles, almost lost in the wonder of the food selections. I am in my zone yet almost feels like I'm so out of it at the grocery store. I tell ya, the grocery store sucks you into it's world. I world of temptation.
The countdown to the cute rottie has been ongoing since the beginning of the month. We are so excited. Our trip starts March 19th when we will take a 12 hour drive down to Pensacola, Florida for a visit of the next town we'll be stationed at and to see the culinary school in Alabama that I am interested in. We'll stay there for 5 days and then drive another 12 + hours to Lexington, Virginia so that we can pick up our puppy!! Oh boy, it's going to be so exciting and so hard to pick one out! How are we going to do that? Then we'll travel another 6 hours back to good ole Ohio. It'll be a long but fun trip! Plus we get to see Scott and Denise before they head off wherever Helo takes them.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Pumpkin Apple Spice Bread

This is another recipe from "Eating for IBS" by Heather Van Vorous. It is amazing what canola oil can do as a replacement for butter. It keeps the muffins so tender and moist and you can't even tell that it does not contain egg yolks at all. I was baffled by the power of the egg whites in this recipe. Amazing.


1 tbs flour
5 tbs brown sugar
1 ts cinnamon
1 tbs canola oil

Combine ingredients and set aside


3 C flour
3/4 ts salt
2ts baking soda
1 1/2 ts cinnamon
1 ts nutmeg
1 ts cloves
1/4 ts allspice
1/4 ts ginger

Whisk ingredients with a wire whisk or fork until thoroughly blended.


16 oz can pumpkin
3/4 C canola oil
2 1/4 C granulated sugar
8 organic egg whites

Fold into wet ingredients:
2 large granny smith apples, peeled and chopped (~ 2 C)

With wooden spoon, add dry ingredients into wet stirring till blended. Pour batter into two non-stick loaf pans or muffin tins sprayed with cooking oil. Sprinkle on topping and bake 50 minutes at 350 Degrees F or for 30-35 minutes for muffins. Cool on racks.

The time is drawing near to when we head over to Pensacola Florida. The reality is hitting me that I will be returning to school. To culinary school and that pretty much freaks me out. It's like, going into an unknown domain. Not only am I so out of touch with school, but the thought of Chefs almost scare me. I imagine them at the top of the hierarchy and me at the end of the bottomless pit. Them glaring down at me, testing me to see if I will pull through this program. Am I being stupid? or is my anxiety justified, just preparing me for the true life as a pastry/baking student. A lowly, lowly nobody. I hope I can pull through......

Garlic Naan

Somehow for me, it seems easier or perhaps more interesting and fun to make breads than it is for me to cook actual food for dinner. I could never be on the carb diet. It's born in me to reach my hand out for bread daily.

The Chinese make amazing breads. I LOVE their paus filled with char sui, or red bean or lotus paste. YUM. I love their bakery items. How they smack together corn kernals and sausage and dough and make into some so delicious is beyong my dreams.

And lets not forget the Malaysian Roti Canai. No matter how many different recipes I try out and how many times I make it, it doesn't ever taste as wonderful as it does back in Seremban at the hackers stands. They make it look so easy, stretching the dough so thinly, but when I try to do it, it does everything BUT stretch out for me.

So the other night I decided to make Garlic Naan since I have been craving indian food for months. It's hard trying to find recipes online when you don't know exactly how they are going to turn out and it is pretty disappointing when it doesn't turn out after having spent hours preparing it with love.

None the less. I found a great recipe for Garlic Naan which I found on . I changed the recipe slightly since 1/4 ts of yeast didn't seem fitting to me at all. I made it 1/2 ts of yeast instead and it turned out really well.


1/2 ts yeast
4 tbs white sugar
1 C warm water
1 beaten egg
3 tbs milk
2 ts salt
4 1/2 C flour
2 tbs minced garlic
4 tbs butter (I omitted this)

I added the yeast to the flour mixture (sugar, salt, flour) and mixed to incorporate. I added the warm water, followed by the beaten egg and milk. I used a wooden spoon to draw the flour into the wet ingredients and then dumped it out on a floured surface and kneaded it to combine it.

I covered it in a bowl and let it sit ontop of the oven. I had muffins baking in there so it worked out. The heat from the oven helped my dough rise superfast! After it has doubled in size, punch down and knead in garlic on a floured surface.
Divide the dough into 12 balls, cover and let rest for 30 minutes or so.

Preheat the broiler. Stretch each ball into a long tear shape and place on greased baking sheet. Once all dough is on the baking sheets place under broiler for 1-2 minutes, watching carefully as it cooks uber fast! Turn it over and then watch again for another 1-2 minutes.

Viola! Easy as pie. You may brush with melted butter and top with more minced garlic.

I thought that since the recipe only had 3 tbs of milk and 1 egg, that my IBS wouldn't flare up but alas it did. I have been in pain the last 3 days because of my stupid need to consume yummy Naan. Next time, I'll try and see what happens if I use egg whites instead of a whole egg and soymilk instead of regular milk. It might work.