The winter blues are affecting my cooking. Everything seems hard. My friend sent me a link for a pie that had at least five different parts. I told her I was tired just looking at it. And yet here I am, sharing a recipe with you that has multiple parts. The thing is, only one of the parts is actually requires your full attention, and most of the pie can be made ahead.
Pizza is definitely one of my favorite things to make (and eat, for that matter). I make my own dough which, though pretty simple, is an extra step in the process. I love veggie pizzas so I usually have some work to do for the toppings as well (sauteeing mushrooms, roasting eggplant, etc.). Making my own sauce is an extra effort I just can’t get into. No more dishes!
I’m a little resentful of the powerful role that photography plays in today’s cooking. If I search a recipe on Pinterest, the results I’m most likely to click on are the crisp, bright, professional looking ones. Occasionally I’ll look over the recipe on the site I get sent to only to realize it’s poorly written, missing steps, or made with artificial ingredients I don’t routinely use (cake mix, seasoning packets, etc). Why do we make such a direct connection between good photography and good cooking? The two are actually completely unrelated.
I looked back at a few dinners on this blog from PB (pre-baby). I had no qualms about taking on a super involved recipe with tons of ingredients and steps – why not, I had the time and energy. Well I’ve always strived to keep this as authentic as possible, and all I have to share right now is a “cookie” that no one should eat except a teething baby, because it’s free of sweeteners. This means that this recipe only applies to probably 1 percent of you.
My daughter calls these “crunchy” and while they were in the house she’d ask me about every five minutes, “Mom can I please have another crunchy?”. I made a 9×13 of these for NYE and over the course of the afternoon we ate half. Half. Half of the 9×13.
I think my favorite part about the internet is that the answer (or, “an” answer) is just a click away. I ask Google questions all the time. I love typing in “how do you” to the search bar and seeing what their top suggestions are. Apparently a lot of people are trying to avoid Ebola, because that was like the top three suggestions. So maybe you bought way too much bread for dinner and you’re about to toss it but then you think, maybe I’ll make breadcrumbs? Maybe you typed that into Google, and maybe you’re reading this RIGHT NOW.
I love when food is fancy and easy; the trifecta comes when it’s healthy, too. These egg spirals are different from anything I’ve seen out there and I make them almost every time I have someone over for brunch/breakfast. Being a balanced eater means when I eat something sweet/baked, I’d also like something savory/full of protein. Anyone can bake up some muffins or coffee cake but figuring out the protein option is harder; heck no am I going to make omelets to order and a big vat of pre-scrambled eggs makes me think of summer camp. Egg spirals to the rescue!
I loved raisin bran as a teenager; I’d graduated from the sugary stuff and felt quite healthy and mature eating a cereal that touted nutrition. While meandering the organic aisle one day at the grocery store I saw a Bob’s Red Mill bag of “wheat bran”, which is the outer shell of the wheat kernel, removed during processing to make “white flour”. The bran holds most of the fiber and a lot of minerals; a whole bag of the stuff? Nice. You can cook it up like oatmeal but it’s fairly gritty – I like it best added to yogurt and cereal the same way I add ground flax, wheat germ or chia seeds. Needless to say I usually have a bag on hand, and you can’t make bran muffins without it so I suggest you get some!
I like spaghetti squash – it sort of astounds me. It’s amazing that you cook a normal looking winter squash and you end up with golden strands of spaghetti. I bought one at my farmer’s market and for whatever reason, it sat on my countertop for weeks. There are a hundred easy ways to cook it, but I just never got around to it and it started annoying me. I finally cooked it (I pierce with a skewer and place in 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Let cool, halve it lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Shred from stem to tip using the tines of a fork), and placed the golden strands in tupperware in the fridge, where it continued to annoy me and not get eaten. Pinterest to the rescue.