My basil has sprouted and is doing well! The parsley sprouted too. Now I need to figure out what else to add to my bedroom herb garden. Some herbs need to be started from cuttings, not seed. It’s really perfect because I can keep the temperature exactly right in my room, and I can close the door to keep the warm air in and the cats out. If anyone accidentally leaves the door open and the cats knock over/eat the herbs, that person will bear the full weight of my endless wrath.
With every year that goes by, I worry that my packs of seeds will not germinate, but they seem to be going strong (hence, I did not need to put that much seed in that pot, probably.)
Last Saturday, I made pizza dough for the first time ever! Gemma and her friend V. helped, and Aidan’s friend was over too and helped (eat the pizza). It was a fun night. Sebastian was really interested in the dough too. They all played with little extra pieces of it. The texture was cool; it felt alive, which I guess it sort of is because of the yeast.
I used store-bought pizza sauce and shredded cheese. We kept it basic this time. But the dough was so easy to make that I see many pizzas in our future.
Shout-out to my mom for getting Gemma a kids’ cookbook, apron and utensils for Christmas. They stoked her burgeoning interest in baking, and I wouldn’t have thought about pizza dough if I hadn’t seen it in the book.
Also shout-out to Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is where I got the pizza dough recipe that we ended up using, and which I seem to be turning to a lot lately. Good recipes.
One “oops” with the pizza: the recipe said to use cornmeal under the pizza when baking (if you think about it, you’ve noticed it on delivery pizzas). It helps with crisping the crust. All I had was medium-grind cornmeal. The kids were like, “we like the pizza but what are these terribly hard things we keep crunching on?” Medium grind = too gritty.
Earlier Saturday we also made whole wheat pancakes for a late breakfast after basketball. And on Sunday, I made pasta fagioli. So good! I had to eat it for three nights in a row, since no one else would eat it, but that was no problem. Also gave me an opportunity to use up the homemade chicken stock I had in the freezer. The non-soup eaters got mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets. (I was really hoping they might like the soup because they’ve been rather adventurous lately, but no dice.)
This was so enjoyable to make. The colorful onion, celery and carrot sauteeing in olive oil and bacon fat… peeling the fragrant fresh rosemary off the stem and mincing it… I’m really savoring my time spent cooking on the weekends (because I don’t do much of it during the week now).
Prior to making the soup, I ran over to Whole Foods for a few things — mainly, some Parmigiano-Reggiano. I try to avoid giving Jeff Bezos more money when possible, but P-R is hard to find this side of the Delaware. I must remember to get it from DiBruno Bros. next time (it’s right near my work). While at Whole Paycheck, I got a little coffee tutorial from Jamie of Royal Mile coffee roasters (local, Haddon Twp., NJ). Took home some Royal Mile Espresso and it has been quite good. Thanks Jamie!
Mini wine bottles = perfect portions for cooking, I learned from the Internet.
We ate in every night last week except Wednesday (once again, hubs offered to pay for King of Pizza and I gladly accepted). And Friday (Saladworks/Wawa). Monday was pasta fagioli for me, bacon and eggs for them. Tuesday was chicken piccata and egg noodles (and pasta fagioli). After dinner, I blanched and froze that broccoli. Thursday was a homemade pizza that I had frozen (for those of us who didn’t actually eat pizza at King of Pizza) and something else for those who did. Some kind of leftovers. I forget. The point is, I made it through the week to payday on budget. I didn’t spend any money on lunches out or on anything. Not one extra thing. Woo hoo!
Saturday, after basketball, picking up the food order, paying bills/mapping out spending for the next two weeks, and spending some time with my visiting in-laws, I made pumpkin muffins (with whole wheat pastry flour and demerara sugar). Looking forward to taking them to work, and Gemma actually liked them — a first.
Sunday, Gemma and I were going to bake an intricate cake that she described to me and then drew on paper. Then we downgraded to sugar cookies. Then… she got distracted with a play date. Just as well. It was a busy day. I did laundry, cleaned up a bunch, hosted a play date for Sebastian, went to Acme and got a few more things, made pita chips, and started this post. For dinner I made pork chops, homemade rice a roni, and roasted sweet potatoes.
Can’t help but feel like I should have done more this weekend, but I’m in pretty good shape heading into this week. Hope to order from Philly Food Works this Thursday. Maybe I can manage to plant some more herbs this week — I need to get potting soil.