Archive for March, 2013

Three jars of this are in the freezer

Easter is coming up, and I want to make a baked yeast item, but I doubt I will be able to actually do that. Sad! I probably have not celebrated Easter ever since I got out of grade school, so the whole coloring egg business is a nostalgic childhood memory I would want to relive again.

It’s deliciously crunchy as is, but I still like to soak it in milk just like I would with müsli.

Instead, I am trying to make useful things, out of which this granola is one. Shii inspired me to make my own müsli, and I decided to use a granola-type recipe which calls for more honey and much longer baking time, creating a more crunchy end product. The result may be just a little bit less healthy than your average müsli, but you can’t really go wrong with a bunch of whole oats, hazelnuts, honey and some dried fruits. I read somewhere “If a granola bar tastes good, it’s not healthy” – certainly that does not apply to this handmade variation.

Without a doubt, my biggest addiction

You may remember that I have recently made lemon squares. This time, we had these organic lemons (exactly 2 of them) which look like they are going to start molding soon. So what do I make? Lemon squares of course. I love lemon bars to the point that I have a hard time making anything else when confronted with lemons, amongst all lemon-y items they are by far my favorite things, and that is despite my incredible love for lemonade. The downside of that is that lemon squares always disappear within 24 hours of their production… how dangerous.

I couldn’t wait till they cooled down before cutting into them, but actually the custard set perfectly.

In comparison to the last lemon bars I have made, I would say that putting in an entire lemon makes the result a little bit too tangy and bitter. (It’s possible that the lemon itself was to blame though – its rind to juice ratio was unusually high.) However, I much prefer this crust made with melted butter. It crumbles more nicely and overall has a better texture. Ah, I want to make more of them already! Next time I will combine David Lebovitz’ crust and the ‘original’ custard from Just Hungry. Perhaps that would be perfect.

St. Patrick’s Day aftermath

Okay, actually we didn’t do anything for St. Patrick’s Day, but we went out for brunch and saw tons of green-themed people in the subway. I especially like these green ballerina tutus for little girls, but for the most part, I am shocked at how everything is so uniformly bright green.

It looks exactly the way it should.

Nevertheless, Pip sent me a recipe for oatmeal soda bread, and I figured it would be nice to try out some new bread again. I made it with whole rolled oats and whole wheat flour, so it promises to be very healthy, especially with the neglectable amount of salt and sugar put in.

Two similarly shaped objects.

The bread turned out pretty much like I expected – very fragrant and delicious, but also very dense. From the photos you can see online, my bread is probably exactly the way soda bread should be. It goes best with a huge dollop of jam on it, and perhaps this is also a good time to take out the Nutella, hahaha. Overall, I thought it was a nice bread but not the type I go crazy for (think banana bread). Since the bread only lasts for like a day or two, it’s also not very practical, especially when you make such a huge one like virtually every recipe suggests. I think I will stick to fruit and yeast breads in the future.

Non-edible items!

Originally this blog was not conceived to a cooking/baking blog. Actually my plan was to learn to knit and make other things, but somehow “handmade” turned into “making food” very quickly. But, things are changing! Pip gave me a sewing machine for my birthday years ago, and finally I am learning how to use it. Hence today’s posting, featuring some of the easiest and fastest things to make in the world: Cat collars for Rodion!

Which one is your favorite?

I have used literally every cute fabric I have, resulting in a total of six collars. His original collar was showing signs of tear and wear, and I used it as a template to make new collars for him. Tutorials on the internet suggest that you can make one of these in like 10 minutes, but in reality it does take longer. Fabrics behave differently (incidentally, the white one was the easiest to work with!) and I am still not familiar enough with my sewing machine to always get it right. In fact, there is a specific way you have to drop in the bobbin to get decent thread tension – I learnt that only now!

Rodion had to model every single one of them, and he takes it with lots of cat dignity.

The first time I saw cat collar hardware was actually on Etsy but I figured you can get them cheaper. Indeed this company has quite a nice deal on them! I got 10 sets, and the product seems to be exactly the same as the one in Rodion’s original collar. I am very pleased with how fast shipping was and I am considering getting more already. It would be lovely to make matching collars for Misha and Rodion…

PS. I have tons and tons of other finished sewing projects, but have been too lazy to take pictures and write the blog postings. Look forward to them!