Sunday, November 09, 2014

Cooking and Baking Day

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread Mix, on Amazon

Today my project is going to be cooking and baking the foods I'll enjoy and share with others in the upcoming week. I still have a few household chores to do today (I wash my sheets and towels on Sundays, and I clean out a shelf in my fridge and freezer) but I will mainly be spending time working in my kitchen. I'm rather looking forward to it!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Will your family be sleeping on clean sheets tonight? Does everyone have clean clothing to wear during the upcoming workweek and school week?
  • Take more time with your meals or snacks today. I'm going to carefully make hot chocolate from scratch today, and serve it to myself in a beautiful antique teacup and saucer (rather than just microwaving a mug and stirring some Swiss Miss into it!) Treat yourself to a fancier or more leisurely meal than normal.
  • Clean one drawer, one shelf or two door pockets in your fridge and freezer today. This way your whole fridge and freezer get cleaned out every month.
  • Create meal plans for the week ahead; write up your grocery shopping list.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Baking and Cooking Day

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cranberry Scone Mix, on Amazon

I did a huge Whole Foods run yesterday on our way home from the dog park. Today I'm going to cook and bake all the things I'll eat in the week ahead, some veggies I want to share with my cousin, and the pumpkin spice bread I'll feed my elderly neighbor when he and his dog come over for their weekly teatime visit and doggie playdate.

Here's what I plan to make, if all goes well!

  • A dozen hardboiled eggs to use on salads and make egg salad sandwiches later in the week. Not hard to prepare, but I never seem to make time for doing this during the week.
  • Roasted beets to cut up and share with my cousin. We'll put them on salads all week long.
  • Beet greens I'll saute and eat right away. With lots of garlic!
  • Pumpkin spice scones for the neighbor (I can't eat them myself due to my cinnamon allergy)
  • Vegetarian cheese and onion enchiladas for a couple of my meals this week. They taste better if they sit in the fridge and "develop" their flavors a bit for a day or so.
  • Mashed potatoes I can reheat during the week for a comfort food treat now and then.
  • Lentil dal I learned to make in a recent Indian cooking class.
  • Mushroom and tomato soups from scratch, to eat for dinner on rainy days.
  • A dozen muffins to eat at breakfast this week, sharing a couple with the neighbors.
  • Dinner rolls, if I have time to bake them from scratch and wait for dough to rise, etc.
  • Hoping to bake a cake just for the fun of it, but I will use a box mix and not do it from scratch, I must admit!

I'm looking forward to making a huge pot of blackcurrant tea, putting on music (probably Annie Lennox's new album!) and getting to work in the kitchen. Not looking forward to the cleanup afterwards though!

LOVELY BLOGS: Garlic + Zest

Lisa blogs from South Florida about her passion for food. I've enjoyed her recent posts on Holiday Cranberry Sauce, Curried Pumpkin Soup, and Pear and Cranberry Upside Down Cake. (I'm a vegetarian, so I skipped over her posts on Pork Tenderloin and Pork rillettes).

http://www.garlicandzest.com/

LOVELY FOOD: Turkey Butter Sculpture

I discovered this adorable turkey-shaped butter in the dairy section at Whole Foods yesterday. A group of women gathered around me, all admiring these, and the checkout people exclaimed at how cool it is too! I think I'll bring a couple as hostess gifts on Thanksgiving. One for each end of the table! This makes me wonder if I could melt, then refrigerate butter in the holiday-themed chocolate/candy molds I already own.. Hrm!

Butter Sculptures, at Keller's Creamery

LOVELY INTERNET: Free Thanksgiving Timeline Cover Images

I really enjoy nice free graphics sites. It's hard to find one, though, that isn't chock full of annoying ads or popup windows. Here's some adorable free Thanksgiving cover photos you can use on Facebook. They're great for people like me who can't draw and don't always want a real photo for my cover. I love to change my cover photo from time to time - hopefully not so often I annoy my Facebook friends though! I'm going to head back to this site and see what they offer for Christmas cover photos, too!

Happy Thanksgiving, at Cover My Timeline

LOVELY MUSIC: "Nostalgia" by Annie Lennox

I enjoy Annie Lennox's music, but I haven't been the type of fan to buy every single one of her albums. I'm excited about "Nostalgia" though as it's an album entirely of covers. I love covers! I didn't realize she's done two other cover albums too. "Nostalgia" was released a couple weeks ago, on October 21. You can watch a video of the release party at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

You can listen to many of the songs from this album on YouTube: I Put a Spell on You; Summertime; Georgia on My Mind; Mood Indigo; Strange Fruit; September in the Rain; and I Cover the Waterfront.

Nostalgia, on Amazon

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Cranberry Pear Crisp (Merri State of Mind)

Cranberry Pecan Baked Camembert (Live Love Pasta)

Cranberry Pecan Bread (The Spice Train)

Curried Roasted Carrots (The Spice Train)

How to Make a Bestselling Book (The Atlantic)

Pumpkin Apple Soup with Candied Cumin Pepitas (My Daily Morsel)

Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Bread (Lady Behind the Curtain)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Celery, Pecans, Rosemary and Lime (Kevin is Cooking)

Top 10 Pecan Pie Recipes (Taste of Home)

Turkey, Cranberry and Mashed Potato Pizza (Farm Fresh Feasts)

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Nut Crumble (Oh She Glows)

Vegetable Soup (Pretty Plain Janes)

Why New Yorkers Will Be Sipping Bone Broth in Coffee Cups This Winter (Well and Good)


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