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Who’s Fred?? My new sourdough pet! You can read up on him here.
Here is my Fred update. He’s alive!! And making bread! It’s a little more work than my dry active yeast, but I realized that by using Fred I’m actually crossing an item off my bucket list! I’m making something I would normally buy. Sweet.
Like I said there was a little more work to using the sourdough starter – but I just followed this handy dandy video made by the same group who taught me how to care for him in the first place.
But I dare say the results were fantastic!
Fred you rock. The crust is really crunchy, just like I like. With the inside being so soft and moist. Again… just what I like in a bread. So I think this arrangement will continue. Jodi + Fred = great bread forever.
This is my new ‘pet’ Fred.
Fred is a sourdough starter and he’s teaching me a lot about himself and his kind. A friend gave him to me and apparently those from Fred’s line come from overseas many many moons ago. Or so I’m told. He’s helping me save money on making bread at home.
Basically Fred is a live culture. He eats the food I give him and produces gas that will make my bread rise when I add him to the mixture in place of yeast. Right now he lives in the fridge but I have to feed him every week. If he lived on my counter I would have to feed him twice to three times a day. What is a bread bacteria culture’s favorite food?? Flour and water of course! Feeding him is actually pretty simple – here is a great video that helped me in figuring out how to take care of him.
I was terrified when I first fed him, certain I had somehow screwed it up. But it’s been a few days now and he seems to be doing quite well. Bubbly and happy next to some humus and beer. (I never said the rest of the things in my fridge were as cool as Fred).
Hopefully I’ll be able to make some good bread with him and we will have many happy years together. If not I’ve still got some dry active yeast so worst comes to worst I’ve got my bread bases covered. Welcome to the family Fred.
A quick how to video on roasting chicken. With this method I never screw up, and I end with a one pan dinner that takes a little time to cook, but very minimal effort. It’s our Sunday dinner every other week!
I love garlic! Such amazing flavour, but a little on the strong side when it is raw. Roasting garlic is the perfect way to mellow it out and let you use it for things like salads, as a spread on bread or anything else that could use a dose of light garlic flavour.
Check out my how to video and see how easy it is to make your own at home.
I have to add a few words to this ‘Wordless Wednesday’ post – this is a short film that my husband made for the Digi 60 – Ottawa’s Digital Film Festival. Filmmakers are invited to create a 8 minute or shorter movie based on a catch – this year’s being that the story needs to have been written by a student in elementary school. This film is based on a recipe from a cook book my school put together when I was in grade 6. All the students submitted a recipe and the book was put together by volunteer parents who then sold the book as a fundraiser. As you can guess there were LOADS of cake, pie and cookie recipes.
Last night this and 11 other films premiered at the Digi 60 Gala and Hubby won ‘Spirit of the Festival’ – an award they invented this year just to celebrate his film. You may not be able to tell but I’m beaming with pride right now. Watch it – it’s great. And check out the chick playing Cinnamon - she’s cute.
It’s time for peaches here in Ontario and with that here’s a quick tip on how to peel your peaches quickly and easily. Bring on the cobbler!!
One of the greatest things about cooking and food is all the firsts that come with it. The first time you try a new restaurant or dish, the first time you learn a new technique or get to play with a new tool and the first time you cook a new dish. The other day I boiled a lobster for the first time – I was so nervous. I was almost in tears after buying him (or her as it turned out), convinced I couldn’t do it and now would have a new pet that I didn’t really want. But I sucked it up – and off I went. I also taped the whole thing for your amusement.
Have you had any cooking firsts lately?
My cat is, how you say… quirky. He’s odd. He does weird things and just when you get used to them he changes them up so you can shake your head at him all over again. His latest thing is Olive Oil. He loves it. If I leave a little drop on the bottle after using it he is all over it. See for yourself:
That got me thinking – what does it mean when an Olive Oil calls itself ‘Extra Virgin’? Well according to the International Olive Council…
- Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.
- Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
- Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
- Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
- Olive pomace oil is refined pomace olive oil often blended with some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. It has a more neutral flavor than pure or virgin olive oil, making it unfashionable among connoisseurs; however, it has the same fat composition as regular olive oil, rendering it the same health benefits. It also has a high smoke point, and thus is widely used in restauraunts as well as home cooking in some countries.
- Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil’s long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
- Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil, but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters.
Two posts in one day?!?! I just couldn’t help myself. And we have guests coming to spend the weekend so there is no promise I’ll be able to post on Monday…
Here is a quick and easy, healthy and homemade vinaigrette dressing recipe. As a tie into Frugal Food Friday, making your own dressing is a cheap and easy way to incorporate healthy fats and flavour into your diet using local or organic ingredients that wont break the bank. And it’s easy! Take a look, then try it out yourself tonight.
Have you ever heard the saying that a serving of meat should be the size of your palm? Do you follow that rule? For quite some time I can sincerely say that I haven’t been. My meals were easily 1/3 protein with 1/3 starch or grain and 1/3 veggie.
So this leads me to my first Frugal Food Friday tip – redesign your servings. It’s no secret that meat is often the most expensive part of a meal. It’s also a fact that most Canadians struggle to get enough fruit and veggies in their diets, but really have no trouble getting protein. Rather than serving in thirds, I suggest switching to quarters. 1/4 meat, 1/4 grain and 1/2 a plate of veggies. Two different kinds. This will help with veggie in take as you stop feeling like you are eating nothing but carrots, or peas or asparagus. And it also gives you a great opportunity to cut down on how much meals are costing.
While you are redesigning the layout of your serving… lets also talk about the plate you are serving it on. As little as 30 years ago plates used to have a decorative border that you were not to serve food over. The actual portion of the dish on which you served food was much smaller. So, meals were smaller. Now the serving size of dinner plates is much bigger, and we fill it! Years of being told to “clean your plate” has also given us the mentality that we must eat all the food that is placed in front of us, despite being full several bites earlier. So change your plate. Start serving dinner off of smaller salad plates. Trust me, you’ll eat less and not even notice. And if you want to go back for seconds it will be because you are actually hungry and not just eating for the sake of eating.
Saves you money and calories so your waist and your wallet will thank you!
Speaking of which here is a great tip to make healthy, homemade microwave and stove top popcorn.