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Pancake Breakfast and a To-Do List

13 Feb

Mr. Right has been sick all weekend, so this Sunday’s breakfast didn’t amount to anything especially extravagant. I made pancakes for him, we both had raspberries, and I also had some pretty plain scrambled eggs and veggie sausage patties in an attempt to meet the egg and protein requirements recommended for us pregnant folk. Obviously, my pancake-shaping skillz need some improvement. Texas got stuck in its cookie cutter and didn’t exactly inspire much awe, although I’m told that El Paso was delicious.

Things I want to do this week:

  • finish Viv’s high chair
  • finish knitting baby overalls (and blog about said overalls)
  • begin knitting a pair of “soakers”
  • replace bent needle on serger and work on another vintage sewing pattern (including making it available for download)

Things I have to do this week:

  • study for Calculus test
  • study for Engineering Geology test
  • begin considering Environmental Geology project due in three weeks
  • keep house clean

I need a better brain and a housecleaning service, or infinite free time. It’s difficult to concentrate on much of anything with a baby due in 12 weeks.

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Super Bowl Sunday Breakfast: Spinach Quiche and Cheesecake

6 Feb

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! A green and gold spinach quiche seemed especially appropriate for the main dish of today’s brunch:

Quiche Directions: Sautee the chopped onions in a large pan; add spinach and flavor to taste РI used salt, pepper, and a Mediterranean spice blend. Allow to cook on medium-low heat until onions and spinach are soft and amazing-smelling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, briskly whisk six eggs, then add cheese, onions, and spinach. Pour into a pie dish. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes; cool before serving.

We also had cheesecake with blackberry jam and berries. On Saturday evening I made mini cheesecakes for Sunday’s Super Bowl party (we don’t have a television and consequently used the promise of sweets and baked artichoke dip to bribe a game day invitation out of some television-owning friends) and had enough leftover crust and batter to fit into a small loaf pan, which made two perfectly-sized dessert squares for a sweet breakfast treat. Vegetarian “sausage” patties completed the meal. I have been trying to follow the high-protein, egg-rich Brewer Diet as recommended by our Bradley Method childbirth coach – this meal certainly met requirements. And, it was delicious.

The Dough Never Rises: (Mis)Adventures in Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

30 Jan

Last Friday, having assumed possession of a wide-mouth pickle jar before it was sent away to be recycled, I set about making some sourdough starter. Making sourdough bread is supposed to be a relatively simple process – something that our predecessors did hundreds and even thousands of years ago, long before we relied on recipe books, measuring cups, and internets to make a simple loaf of bread. And simple it was: mix a cup of warm water and a cup of all-purpose flour, set somewhere warm and inviting, wait 24 hours. Then, dump out half of the mixture and replace it with half a cup of warm water and half a cup of flour. Wait 24 hours. Repeat. By the end of the week, my sourdough starter was, as promised, frothy and, well, sour-smelling – ready to go, just in time for Sunday breakfast. I found a sourdough cinnamon roll recipe that required beginning on Friday evening and got to work in the nick of time. By Saturday afternoon, my dough was to have doubled in size. Instead, it looked pretty much as it had on Saturday morning:

There are no before-and-after comparison photos. That’s because there was no difference in dough volume. None. But, I wasn’t too worried. The same thing happened the other week with a pizza crust that rose admirably once it was in the oven. So, I went to make the rolls. The dough was nowhere near stiff enough, and the rolls didn’t hold their shape, instead choosing to resemble a distant relative of Jabba the Hutt.

I thought maybe they’d rise overnight, like the recipe suggested. They did not. I baked them anyway, thinking of the pizza dough’s last-minute, Hail Mary rising. They still did not rise, and after twice the recommended baking time, the dough was as cooked through as it was going to get. Mr. Right bravely suggested that they might still be edible; he also kindly made scrambled eggs. And, Sunday breakfast turned out well in spite of the sluggish dough. The rolls were in fact okay, although they were nowhere near the light fluffy goodness promised in the recipe. Oh, well – ¬†there were already plenty of picture-perfect sourdough cinnamon roll blog entries available, anyway.

Sunday Breakfast: Creme Brulee Overnight French Toast

24 Jan

While we almost always eat dinner together, we’re usually pretty casual about it – we’ll sit on the couch and chat with our plates in our laps or park in front of the computer to watch an episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS. But sometimes, if we’re feeling especially formal, we actually bring our plates to the dinner table, where pleasant conversation is paired with whatever happens to be on NPR. It feels special to set aside whatever we’re doing and focus on having a meal together, and it’s a tradition that I definitely want to continue with Vivian. One of my goals this year is to start having a “fancy” weekend breakfast, a time to look forward to spending together at the end of every week.

This Sunday’s breakfast included a favorite from the most delightful Bed and Breakfast ever imagined – the A.G. Thomson House in Duluth, Minnesota. We’ve had the good fortune to stay there twice now, and if the incredible hospitality, immaculate decoration, and perfect location weren’t enough, the innkeepers also make the. best. breakfasts. ever. We’re talking three-course meals here. And, the recipes are available should you want to attempt to recreate the wonder at home. Sunday’s Creme Brulee French Toast, while not as amazing as the original (I used maple extract instead of Grand Marnier) made for a great start to the day. And a wonderful day it was – with Green Bay going to the Superbowl! It’s been difficult today to come down from the excitement of the weekend and go back to the daily housework/homework routine – but with another family breakfast and lots of down time to look forward to, I think we’ll manage.