Monday, October 26, 2015

Quote of the Week

Saturday, October 24, 2015

40 Cloves

Getting the garlic gloves ready to plant. I counted 40 cloves of garlic that need to get into the garden soon. I really wanted to have all the garlic in by now, but last week something came up and I didn't make it to the garden last weekend. There's already another group of garlic planted in the garden,but I was hoping to have all of the garlic planted by last week, but it's okay, at least I'll have everything in before Halloween.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Hey!!! I'm back with another Tasty Tuesday recipe. Last week I had to vent a little about our non cooking nation and all the excuses people give for not cooking, but that was last week and I'm ready to move forward.
Today's recipe is a basic pizza dough.
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 packet of yeast
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of lukewarm water
In a large bowl, combine yeast packet and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water.
Stir until mixture is well dissolved. Let mixture sit until it becomes bubbly.
While waiting for yeast mixture, combine all the dry ingredients together. Stir really well to get all the dry ingredients incorporated together.
Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients first  and then add the olive oil and the remaining water.
Stir mixture until it forms a ball, if dough is sticky, add more flour until it isn't sticky anymore.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and begin to knead and fold the dough out to ensure no sticky areas in the dough.
Once dough is no longer sticky, place it in a well oiled or buttered bowl to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel.
Let sit for at least 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and let it rest a minute.
Lightly flour your rolling pin and work surface. This would also be the time to decide how many pizzas you want to make and how thick or thin you want your pizza crust to be.
Divide your dough up and roll each ball out to your liking. Just don't roll dough out so thinly that you can't pick the dough up to put on the pizza pan. You just want to roll the dough out, to cut some of the stretching you have to do by hand once the pizza is on the pizza pan.
Lightly oil or butter your pizza pans before you place the dough on the pizza pans.
Once the dough is on the pan, use your hands to stretch the dough to the edges of the pizza pan. You'll notice that the dough might shrink back a little--this is common, don't get frustrated and think you're doing something just's part of the process.
Veggie Pizza
Preheat the oven when you're ready to start building your pizzas. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, ovens may vary, so please consider that when you're baking anything. 
Now it's time to build your own unique pizza. The possibilities are endless, so get creative if you like, or just pile on your usual favorites.
The pizza my son and I made together was  just something we put together because we needed to use up some vegetables before they got old. We cooked some kale, broccoli, and a few mushrooms together with some garlic and then added some pickled jalapenos to top it off.  We used mozzarella cheese and made the sauce ourselves, I'll have do a post on the sauce another time.
So, there you have it....Today's Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Pizza Dough.
Oh, before I forget, bake your pizza on the lower rack for the best crust and bake for 15 minutes or until crust has a golden color and cheese has completely melted.
Hope you enjoy and here's to a delicious Tuesday.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Quote of The Week

"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching."  --Unknown

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday:A Lost Skill?

I interrupt today's usual Tasty Tuesday's recipe this week to focus on a truly important skill that many people are lacking today. A skill that can cut through our obesity epidemic in America, a skill that will bring more whole foods into our diets, a skill that will help you save money. The skill that I'm talking about is: cooking.

Over the weekend I read this article about a guy that took the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)challenge and he wrote an article about his experience and how he made it through the month.

As I read through his article and related to some of the things he adopted while completing the challenge--like bringing my own food to events or outings. As I became drawn into his story, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with lots of things he wrote about, like: some of the rules of the challenge, food deserts, the high cost of fast food & processed foods, and the cost effectiveness of cooking at home.

I personally thought he gave a wonderfully written perspective of his experience on the challenge.

What I wasn't prepared for were the many comments expressing that the writer of the article was thumbing his nose at the poor. Granted, if you just read the title of the article and looked at the photos in the article, then maybe I could understand those commenters that felt he was condescending, but instead I saw so many comments that just seemed to be filled with excuses.

Many commenters highlighted that many people don't have time to prepare a home cooked meal because they work long hours or work two jobs.

 I get that, really, I do. However, if a person can binge watch a TV series, then they have enough time to make and prepare meals for the week. They have enough time to make a big batch of broth, soups, or spaghetti sauce. These things are not hard and can be done on a person's day off or over the weekend.

If you can't cook, then learn. With all of these cooking shows, cooking websites and the many recipe books out in the world, there should be no excuse for not being able to prepare something at home.

If you're a busy parent, I highly recommend that you dedicate some time to preparing meals with your children because it's a wonderful way to spend time together, and it's a skill that they definitely will need in life. As parents our job is to help get our children to the next level....not just buying them toys and expensive crap to make them happy.

I am delighted that our First Lady had a garden put in on the White House lawn because seriously many young Americans don't know where their food comes from, and many more don't realize how to seasonally shop for fruits and vegetables to keep their food cost low. I appreciate Mrs. Obama's effort to spotlight growing your own--another way to cut your grocery bill in half, and you don't need a yard to grow food either. If you have some buckets, milk cartons or any kind of container with drainage, some dirt/compost and sunlight then you can grow your own. If you have an absolute black thumb then support your local farmers market....please...and then go home and cook a great meal.

Anyway back on the subject, I'm delighted that Mrs. Obama has put a spotlight on healthy eating; however, as a nation we seriously might need to consider bringing back Home Economics in our schools.  Home Ec. taught me how to shop for groceries, nutrition, how to set a table, how to cook several meals from scratch and kitchen safety. Like I said earlier, these are skills that will be needed as children get older. I would prefer that parents would make the time to teach these skills to their children, but I have no problem with the school teaching this much needed skill set to our children.

Yes, there are people that live in food deserts that lack affordable healthy options for grocery shopping, and there are transportation issues for some, and as a nation we should be bringing these issues to the forefront. However, I can honestly say, we are a nation filled with a lot of non cooking people, a malnourished nation, an obese nation that has lost or refused to cook for themselves and it really showed through the many commenters of that article. Because of this lost skill we are slowly watching a generation of children and adults become sicker because of the so called convenience factor.

What do you think, is cooking becoming a lost skill and please feel free to comment on the SNAP challenge article.