Sunday, March 7, 2010

Busy, Busy Bee!

Oh, have I been productive. Hold onto your hats - this one's a long one.

The day started early. After a lovely wedding yesterday (which *B* performed!), I was SO tired. I woke up fairly early considering. In some freak burst of energy, I decided to shovel our deck. *B* came out and decided to help me. We got the entire deck done and rearranged! We ran errands all over town. When we came home later in the day, everything was dried off from the little bits of snow we had left.

During the course of our errands, *B* picked me up flour, sugar, and rice for our brand new gamma buckets. I, of course, had already washed and dried them out, so they were ready to go. We even picked up some brown sugar, powdered sugar, and a rotisserie chicken at a good price.

Once we came home, we set about cleaning out the bedroom - closet and all. I'm so proud! It took us the entire movie Hot Fuzz, but we got our laundry put away and the room cleaned. At this point, we were super hungry. So we had a lovely dinner of rotisserie chicken, yams, and spinach (yum!).

This is when things got good.

I was all excited to pick the chicken carcass and try my hand at making stock. This is my first ever attempt, and I think it turned out well.

I covered the carcass and remaining skin in cold water.

To that, I added a handful of parsley (we only had dried) and celery seed because we had no actual celery.

I then rough cut three carrots and threw them in.

I added some bay leaves.

And I added a few sprigs of time.

I let it boil, then dropped it down to a simmer.

After two hours (10 pm), it looked like this.

After hour hours (12 am), it reduced down to this.

I strained everything out and put the stock in the fridge. By tomorrow, the fat should have solidified on top, so I can just skim it out and freeze the rest. It smells so good!

While I was letting the stock simmer, I tried my hand at Italian bread. Never before in my life have I made non-sweet bread so tasty! This recipe from is just perfect:


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal


  1. Add all ingredients except egg, 1 tablespoon water, sesame seeds, and cornmeal into your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the dough cycle.
  2. Divide dough into 2 parts and form into loaves. Sprinkle cornmeal on greased baking sheet. Place loaves on pan seam side down. Brush top of loaves with water. Let rise til double, about 50 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Brush loaves with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Make 4 cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of log. Place a pan of hot water in bottom of oven. Bake bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. To make a nice crusty bread, bake bread in the afternoon and pop into oven again for 5 minutes before meal. Makes a very crusty bread! You would be surprised how much better it is if you heat it that last 5 minutes.
This is what you get when you finish. Isn't it yummy looking??

The only two "adjustments" that I made were omitting the sesame seeds and forgetting the pan of water.

I got kind of antsy while the bread was rising and the stock was simmering, so I made a chocolate pie. Mind you, this was at about 11:30 pm. But oh was it good! Who knew that chocolate pudding on graham cracker crust was the recipe for heaven?

While I was cooking the pudding in the microwave, *B* and I put together a shelf that we got from Ikea a few weeks back. It was originally supposed to go in the front entryway, but it turns out it was too big and we lost the receipt. So we repurposed it and decided we could use it in the laundry room.

As the stock was finishing up, I updated my pantry list on Google docs. I created a spreadsheet on there with items by shelf number, items by type, and items we need to get. I'm amazed at how much my pantry has grown from the two random boxes we packed up in September to move in. While I originally made a two week menu in order to determine what we needed to store, I realize I have greatly deviated from that. I think that I will now work backward - look at what we have and come up with recipes to match.

And with that, it's 1 am, and I'm beat.

Night y'all.

1 comment:

  1. Great job with the stock! It's so simple and so rewarding.