Tuesday, January 09, 2007

On Not Being Lopsided

Over the past couple of weeks I've tried out a wide variety of new recipes. I have also confounded Wine Guy by insisting on taking pictures of everything before we eat it...oh well, I finally have a camera I love (perhaps I'm a bit TOO in love with the macro feature).

On New Year's Eve, we made Sushi! While the sushi rolled much better than the last time, it's still the ingredients that made for better pictures. The scrumptious avacado, the sashimi grade salmon...mmmmm. I was one happy camper.

One of Wine Guy's gifts to me was a pizza stone. Of course, he actually bought it so that we could use it right away and make pizza. I tend to hold on to my presents a while before using them, but less than a week after opening the stone, I had used it three times, including once to make actual homemade pizza. Smitten Kitchen provided the dough recipe. Wine Guy and I thought up the ingredients. The conversation went like this:

Him: I want to put chicken...and....
Me: Feta?
Him: Yes! And...sun dried tomatoes. And something else? But what?
Me: Bacon?
Him: Oh. Wow! That was just what I was thinking. How did you know that?

And, so, because I am a mindreader, we had a perfectly delicious pizza that also included some onions, mozzarella and a tomato paste sauce recommended by Mommy!

The pizza stone worked wonders, and the crust was juuuuuuust perfect.

Since I am now apparently in a bread making frenzy, I decided to try out the No Knead Bread also on Smitten Kitchen (can you tell that this is one of my favorite recipe sources?). The bread dough is messy and quite disgusting, leaving Wine Guy to look pessimistic until I said, "It's from the same site as the pizza dough!"

The crust was lovely and golden brown, the inside was soft and moist. We had some of the bread with some spinach and ricotta ravioli from Genova Delicatessen and Ravioli Factory in Napa. And yesterday, it was my turn to bring the appetizer for Bible Study with Hayley and Bonnie, so I cut the bread up into little bits, and we had that with olive oil & balsamic vinegar and my homemade pesto (minus the parsley).

At the end of my evening of bread baking, looking fondly at the golden brown crust, I said, "I like it when recipes turn out exactly as they should."

He said, "I do, too, but for different reasons..." and he looked meaningfuly into my eyes.

"You mean because I go all mopey and lopsided when they don't?"

"Pretty much, yeah."

And now...I have two sourdough baguettes rising on my kitchen counter. Between the starter, the secondary starter and rise time, I've been making this bread for a week...here's hoping it turns out and I can refrain from going all lopsided, because nobody wants to see that!

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