If I’m looking for small joys during this time, I love the explosion and interest in bread baking. It’s been a fun distraction to talk bread making tips, techniques and tricks with friends and families and sometimes total strangers. This is the warm, fuzzy side of the internet.
If there is one common theme to many of the initial questions, it’s the surprise that most of the popular no knead, artisan bread recipes include an overnight proof. That long rest in the fridge helps the dough develop flavor, saves you the step of kneading, and makes the dough much easier to handle and shape the next day. Can you make no knead bread in a day? Yes, but start early. Can you make no knead bread after lunch and still have it on the table for dinner. Let’s find out…
I’ll admit to being skeptical about these gluten-free alternative personal pizza crusts but by the end of the night they had definitely won me over. They won’t ever replace true pizza crust and they just flat out confused the kids when I refer to them as pizzas but they did help satisfy that the pizza craving during our January cleanse when the alternative might have been to cave to the craving and eat half a pie myself.
The dough is knead-free, flour-free, and gluten-free and comes together fairly quickly and easily. We topped our mini-pies with sauce, various roasted veggies, and cheese for a delicious and filling protein-packed pizza fix without any of the guilt or cost of takeout.
That’s not to say that everything went smoothly with the first batch…
Our house has been awash in coughs, colds, and general snottiness since before Christmas. Every time we appear to have recovered, it starts up again in some new form. It’s been like the old saying about painting the Golden Gate Bridge.
All the sickness, or near sickness, has led to a general apathy toward cooking. We are mostly worn out at the end of the day and just want something quick and easy. This chicken cannellini soup (the veggies in the family subbed in tofu) is the perfect weeknight dinner. Add a salad or some bread and you have a filling, nutritious meal that doesn’t take a lot of effort to get on the table. If you hustle it can be done in 30 minutes or so. Better yet, make it ahead, let the flavors mingle and heat it up.
Never underestimate the power of broth. It’s nourishing, hydrating, and soothing.
Tofu is inexpensive, filling, nutritious, and … often tastes terrible. It doesn’t have to. I promise. Time and temperature are two simple tricks that can turn your tofu frown upside down.
One of our staple meals for busy weeknights is a tofu and veggie stir fry over brown rice. We cook and eat a lot of tofu and we’ve cooked and eaten a lot of bad tofu but over the years we eventually found a simple way to make it taste great in three simple steps.
One of the great things about revisiting a place on vacation is that you have the time, knowledge, and flexibility to explore new things and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. This happened to us on our most recent return trip to Prince Edward Island.
We were googling around looking for nearby restaurants and stumbled on Copper Bottom Brewery in Montague which offered, in addition to a nice tap room, live fiddle music on Sunday and pizza and vinyl on Thursday. Yes, please!
While we mostly eat a plant-based diet in our house, we do have fish about once a week. Mostly it’s in the form of tacos, but when it’s not it is typically a piece of salmon. I like salmon because it’s loaded with B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. All the protein fills me up, fights workout inflammation, and helps me recover for next time.
Plus, salmon is great fresh or frozen for a fancy weekend or a quick weeknight meal. It’s sustainable, affordable, and easily adaptable to many different methods and flavors. It’s a kitchen all-star. Did I mention the girls will eat it, too? Always a plus.
Our one big indulgence during our PEI vacation was getting a seating at the FireWorks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune. I was a little hesitant given the the price tag, even in Canadian dollars it’s not cheap, but after a long night of slurping oysters, eating smoked salmon, and a full five course meal, I can happily say it did live up to the hype and is worth the price. If you can’t spend your money on a memorable vacation experience, what are you going to spend it on?
One advantage to staying on the eastern side of the island is that the Inn at Bay Fortune was just a short ten minute drive from our rental house. This came in especially handy at the end of the night when we were all so full that the prospect of driving across the island to roll into bed would not have been appealing.