Monday, January 18, 2010

... baking and basting

healthy bread

what a beautiful day it was in seattle. over 50 degrees outside, a touch of rain in the morning and then the clouds cleared to reveal a sunny, clear, refreshing afternoon. and best of all? i'm back on my (mostly) regular diet. i admit i really enjoyed my two weeks of completely whole foods, but i'm also happy to welcome a bit of cheese back into my life. and tea with half and half. and olive oil. and butter. and bread.

healthy whole wheat bread sliced

but i'm not jumping on the pizza bandwagon just yet. there are quite a few things i learned from these last two weeks that i wholeheartedly want to continue. like making my own almond milk. and cooking my own beans instead of using ones from a can. and making a big pot of soup each week to have on hand for emergencies. and drinking black tea only the morning and switching to green tea in the afternoon. nice, simple things. and while i was excited to go back to eating bread again, i felt it might be a good thing to try to make more of my own.

enter healthy bread in five minutes a day. what a fabulous book. the simple premise is that you mix up a large batch of dough--literally, just mix all the ingredients together until it's a big gooey mess, no proofing, no kneading--keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks and just rip off a blob when you want a nice hot loaf of bread, let it rise for 90 minutes and then bake in the oven. i'm simplifying a lot, obviously. there are some intriguing tips and strategies for making your bread delicious, but the actual hands-on time is pretty minimal. it's a big adjustment for someone like me who loves to bake bread, who loves to actually knead bread. but i also like eating my own home-baked bread more frequently than every month or two. anyhow, it tastes great! the crust is nice and chewy and the crumb is moist and just slightly dense, but not as dense as you would expect from a mostly whole wheat bread.

tea and bread

and it was especially delicious with my first, hot mug of black tea. welcome back to my belly, welsh brew. oh, how i missed you!


fueled by bread and tea, i felt motivated to finally baste my red letter day quilt. are you tired of looking at this quilt yet? i sure am!

kwik klip

when i stopped by the quilting loft to pick up some more basting pins, it was suggested that i try the kwik klip. wow! i hadn't thought i had too hard a time basting with pins in the past, but when i used the kwik klip i realized just how easy it could be. honestly, no one is paying me to say this. it just makes the process about twice as fast, and i like that!

quilting fail

and wow! look at that quilting! don't you love it?! yeah, i do, too. but guess what? that one plus sign took me about a half hour to quilt! and there is no way i am going to do that about 30 more times (you do the math). so, i am currently rethinking my plan, which will probably involve more straight lines and fewer pivots.

successes and failures... today still rounded out to be a pretty good day.


  1. Your quilt is so awesome! Nope, I'm a way off being tired of it just yet!

    Healthy bread in 5 minutes a day sounds brilliant - I would love to get a copy of that. Enjoy your return to the world of tea - I tried a detox once and lasted about 36 hours on juice and raw vegetables before caving to caffeine! I just cannot live without it, and am totally ok with that :)

  2. That bread looks great. What a healthy way to start the year. Almond milk looks interesting and might be something I want to try sometime. This (winter) is definitely a great time of the year to make healthy home-cooked soups. I do this often b/c it is generally pretty easy, healthy, tasty and warm--and a big pot can feed your household for multiple meals! I'm trying to cut back on caffeine, and like your a.m. black tea/p.m. green tea idea. For me, it's Early Grey or Darjeeling (sometimes w/ a hint of milk)in the morning, and then my favorite delicate, flowery Jasmine green tea later on.