Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chocolate chip cookies

I promised my partner chocolate chip cookies on her day off, so I made them today. She also loves the dough, so I let her have quite a bit of that too. :)

I just used the standard toll house recipe, using Earth balance sticks instead of butter of course. They came out chewy, just the way we both like them. I found a site called Cooking for Engineers which had a very interesting article about how to make cookies either chewy or more crunchy. It looks like a fun site.

I used Trader Joe's semi-sweet chips, which are at least a dollar cheaper than the name brands. This was also the first time I used my KitchenAid mixer to make cookies. Worked wonderfully.

Also, my friend Katie at Frugal Veggie Mama tried my bread recipe and really liked it!! I'm glad that it is cool out now and I can bake bread and such as much as I want.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Baking Adventures

Yesterday I made muffins and biscuits. The muffins were a standard type of recipe and I added some Trader Joe's cocoa powder. They came out ok, but not a lot of flavor. Needed more sugar, maybe.

The biscuits came out better. I usually just make drop biscuits, but this time I rolled them. The first batch came out good, the second batch was more rolled of course and they came out flatter. They still tasted good though. My partner is having a couple for breakfast with apple butter (homemade of course!).

I'm actually going to have to buy more baking powder in a month or so. This is the first time in my life I've ever actually baked so much I need to buy more.

I also made crockpot spanish rice for the second time. It's really good and I'll eat it for lunch and I'll mix in pinto beans for a dinner or two for us.

Today I plan to make bread and Monday or Tuesday I'm going to make chocolate chip cookies for my partner. I don't have a recipe so I'll have to check my cookbooks.

I also want to try VwaV Fetticine Alfreda. A local veggie blogger raved about it and I do have pine nuts in the house.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Potato corn Chowder

I finally got around to making Table for Two's Potato Corn Chowder yesterday. It came out great! When I eat it, I add just a little bit of salt. The veggies are all cooked, yet still firm. I love that it turns out so creamy. I use very little soymilk to the blended potatoes.

Here's a closeup picture of all the loveliness! :) No celery though, I don't have any.


Sunday, October 15, 2006


I've also switched to the new Blogger beta. I don't notice much change yet.

I've been cooking a lot lately. I tried making seitan yesterday. I've made it twice before and it came out great. This time it was not very good.

It's rainy and cool here in Portland today and so I think later today I will make some of Jo Stepaniak's Potato Corn chowder from her book Table for Two. I love a lot of the recipes in that book. I make 1000 island dressing for salads from a recipe of hers.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Busy, busy

I've been busy the last few days. I've made VwaV Peanut butter oatmeal cookies, chicken stock, bread, cooked a beef roast and sliced it up and put the drippings in the freezer for yorkshire pudding. I've shopped, being very frugal and getting a lot of good deals. I love Trader Joes. It allows me to shop healthy, without breaking the bank.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Well, I made my improved bread recipe again today and the crust came out great again, softer, instead of rock hard. You can take a slice and fold it to make a half sandwich. So, here's the recipe. This makes two average size loaves of bread or one quite large one.

3-4 cups whole wheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (Bob's Red Mill again)
1 tsp salt
3 tbl olive oil
4 tbl honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 pkg regular yeast or 4 tsp yeast

Measure out the first three ingredients into a bowl, set aside. Mix in
a bowl the water (110-120 degrees), olive oil, honey and yeast. Slowly
mix in the flour (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer). Dough should be not
sticking to the sides of the bowl. I usually end up using 3 1/2 cups
of flour. I let my mixer knead the dough for 7-8 minutes. If you
knead by hand, knead for 10-12 minutes. Wheat bread needs a longer
knead time.

Place in oiled bowl in warm place, covered by a towel or plastic wrap,
for about an hour or until about double in size. Punch down, turn out
of bowl. I make the dough into a ball and use a serrated knife to cut
in half. Shape each half into a rectangular roll and place in loaf
pans. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for
25-30 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.

I'd love to hear how this recipe works for you.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Frugal Reading

I got the most recent issue of our library newsletter. Some interesting statistics I wanted to share. I go to the Multnomah County Library here in Portland.

We had the highest circulation per capita of any library in the country, plus the lowest cost per circulation. I guess the library here is frugal too!!

One statistic that really struck me. Multnomah County (Portland OR) has a population of 692.823. Cardholders number 455.296 or 66% of population. That's amazing to me. Circulation last year was 19.589.530 or 28 items per capita. I guess we do read and watch DVDs during our overcast, rainy winter!

I take advantage of the library. I hardly ever buy books anymore and I get virtually all the movies/TV shows/audio courses I use from the library. The ultimate frugal resource!