Thursday, January 31, 2013

End Of January Thaw

We are in the 50's for the second day in a row. In Maine. It rained all night and most of the snow we had is now gone.  See the green grass?  In January.  This picture was taken with my new camera.  I got close.  And it stayed in focus.  That was one of the things my old camera was finding it hard to do.  Focus.  The foliage behind the orchid branch are Paperwhite leaves.  I cut the flowers off.  Too fragrant (stinky) for me to enjoy.  But the leaves?  Yes, please.  I just keep the roots well watered and I have foliage for weeks and weeks.

The bananas were almost brown enough, so I made banana bread today.  I also mixed the zucchini shreds (salted and squeezed dry-ish) with a very generous "cup" of shredded mozzarella and an egg. Made what the original recipe writer called "dough" but is actually just a mess that I form, on parchment, into a flattened rectangle.  Pressed and straightening the edges and flatten etc and then I bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and let it cool a bit and then peel off the parchment, turn it over , back on the parchment and back in the oven to bake again.  Nicely browned, not burnt.  And it serves as a lovely GF pizza crust.  Later, when I bake G's pizza I will add toppings to mine and bake it again. I bake it twice so the crust is stiff.  The original is squishy when baked only once.  Let it cool before adding toppings.

I searched the internet after I posted yesterday and found a British site with Jamie Oliver's mushroom risotto and I had everything (we opened a bottle of white wine) for the recipe, so I made it.  I think the rice could have been cooked a bit (just a bit) longer.  It was al dente.  Which I think it is supposed to be.  I added plenty of butter, some nicely fried sliced fresh mushrooms and Parm at the very end (as Jamie directs).  It looked good.  G ate it and even had seconds.  And he had a very large salad which he enjoyed.  I added honey to the olive oil and Balsamic dressing.

 Never having eaten proper risotto, I have no way of knowing if it was well prepared.  And I only tasted a teaspoon for reference.  Arborio Rice (from Italy) is not on my diet plan.  Yes, I had some in the cupboard.  I also had a packet of dry Porcini mushrooms.  If you like risotto, Jamie's recipe (30 minute meals) is very easy and will take about 30 minutes.  I made the salad after getting the risotto cooked.  Next time I would make the salad first but dress it after.  I had salad and the take-home part of my Italian restaurant dinner.

Wednesday is a very piss poor evening for watching television. I finished the two books I had from the library.  One day for each.  And I didn't start reading until after 4 pm and was in bed by 11.  And I watched television.  They just don't write books like they used to.  Now I have two more and one is very thick and has lots of words.  Elizabeth George.  I rarely make it through one of her books.  I get tired.  Any reading suggestions????

I finished writing one of the gardening classes.  The second is the harder of the two and I need to do more research.  Another trip to the library or more research on the internet.  Roses.

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