I’m still cooking, though.  Since I started working so much, and still volunteering with kids, I’ve seen a drastic reduction in the amount of time I have to play in the kitchen.  I’ve even bought pasta and bread!  The slow-cooker has been my trusty friend.  I made a nice batch of rich stock with turkey bones that have been in my freezer since December, and made a few pots of vegetable and bean soup with it, kicked up with dandicut peppers.  Each pot gives us dinners for a week.  We add a little cheese and eat it with corn chips.  It’s been tasty, and we’ve been feeling good and losing weight.  We’re also eating lots of nuts, whole grains, and fruit.  I’ve always got my yogurt in the fridge (I added some DanActive to some Oikos for a nice array of bacteria), and I am the hummus-bringer for parties.

I found some discounted ground beef, and experimented a little with burgers.  Those were fantastic, but not something I will make regularly.  I also made my first ever quiche, and that was really good, even without a pastry crust.  Last week I made a Pad Thai, which is always tasty.  I experimented about a month back with coconut beer-battered shrimp, and I’m not happy with the deep-fry process.  I made onion rings with the same batter (but no coconut).  Just using a pot and a deep-fry thermometer was a pain.  It took a lot of time, the oil temperature fluctuated a lot, and it was very messy.  My only other deep-fry experience (same pot, no thermometer) making ricotta fritters was much easier and cleaner.

It is finally Spring again, so I got my annual sourdough starter up and running.  Tomorrow I will make the first batch of my famous banana chocolate chip sourdough pancakes for the year.  I am excited about that.  I may also have time this weekend to try a loaf of bread.  I think it will work out much better this year than last year, since I am able to measure things more accurately now with my new food scale.  My starter has been thriving better this time than in previous years.

I made a bowl of pizza dough last weekend (3 pies worth), and tried 50/50 whole wheat and bread flour.  It is not working for me.  My crusts were way better with 100% whole wheat flour.  These have been too gooey and bready instead of thin and crispy.  Mushrooms were on sale, so I’m making sauteed mushroom jalepeno pizzas, and we have salads on the side.

I am looking forward to the warmer months and piles of cheap fresh veggies!  I could go for a pasta primavera and more variety in my soups.

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