Wednesday, February 25, 2009

so, i took a few days off to deal with the brioche. and i think, at this point, i'm putting artisan bread in five aside for a while. my father in law did mention that we live in a "high altitude" area, but i'm so tired of messing with this book, (i know, i'm a quitter) that i'm gonna call it quits on it for right now. maybe in a couple of months, when we're settled in our own place, and not high altitude, i'll try again.

we are thinking, tenatively of attempting the sonoma diet. which isn't so much of a diet, but more of a concentrated effort to eat better. i've got some weight to lose, and i'm pretty sick of thinking i'll do better one day. so, within the next couple of days, you'll probably see me start posting pics and recipe ideas from this diet. i gotta do something.

i love food, and i love cooking, but i don't really love being overweight. and as much as i love to bake, there has to be a better way to marry these interests, and not blimp out.

also - there's a money maker deal at CVS with the Renuzit tri-scents. they're 5.49 with a 2$ ECB on it. there's a coupon for $4/1 from this sundays paper. meaning, you make .50 off of each of them. pretty sweet, since the limit is 5 per card.

Friday, February 20, 2009

well, i made brioche. i was kinda underwhelmed at the appearance. i've had bread rise so much better than these loaves. i'm not sure where the disconnect is, but it was a lot more compact of a loaf than what i was anticipating. i probably need to do more internets research on what brioche looks like.

however, once i cut into it, i was pretty impressed with this bread recipe. smooth, buttery, and infinitely rich tasting. it came out of the oven at 5, and was completely gone by 6:30 (halfway through dinner.) and even though it didn't really go with our meal of black beans and rice, we still gobbled it up as if it were the last loaf of bread on earth. instead of tossing the 3 remaining pounds (like i did with the really bad boule) i will be finishing out this batch. tomorrow i'm taking a lemon curd filled blueberry ring, made with the brioche dough to lori's for coffee and shortbread therapy. pics of that will come.

well, i'm giving artisan bread in five minutes a day another shot. the first thing i attempted out of this book failed miserably. i'm no novice bread maker either, but i was pretty disappointed in my rock hard unrisen results. i'm not sure as to reasoning behind the failure. hence why i'm trying again.

this time, i made sure that the dough rose and fell, instead of just giving it the two hour rising time recommended. i think the first attempt had two factors destining it to fail. 1: freezing cold house. seriously, this place is chillay. and2:, i'm not sure as to the quality of the yeast. i'm using a different type of yeast this time, nothing fancy, just not store brand. so now, we'll see what happened.

i'm attempting the butter rich brioche, instead of the peasant style boule. which hopefully will turn out better, merely because of the higher sugar content for the yeast to feed off of. i also let it rise inside the oven, instead of the countertop. we had a fire tonight, and the relative room temperature was pretty cool. so i turned the oven on to 350, let it warm for about 15 seconds, and stuck the dough in, after turning the oven off. and voila! it worked!

looks good... filled up a 5 quart container
look ma, big holes!
notice the bit where the skin broke after sticking to the lid.

so, tomorrow is my day of reckoning. i'm really really hoping and praying to make a nice artisanal loaf. although with brioche, i don't know what to expect. i've never made it before, but i guess if this book is as good as everyone says, i'll be back to rave about it.

also, check out the authors website here, for more recipes, tips, tricks and prettier pics than i have.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

publix preview

courtesy of this thread on hotcouponworld, i've got a little preview of what's at publix starting tomorrow. it's not so bad, although i've seen better weeks. i've already used up some of the coupons needed for the other deals, so here's a few of the highlights that i will likely get. oh. and BOGO means buy one get one free, ea. means each, 1/1 means 1 dollar off of one etc.

Crisco 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil BOGO (save up to $6.49) - $1/1 in RP (red plum) 02/08/09 - $2.25 ea.

Rubbermaid Produce Saver Food Container [5-cup pkg.] BOGO (save up to $4.49) - $1/1 in SS (smart source) 01/04/09 - $1.25 ea.

Glass Plus Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner [32-oz bot.] BOGO (save up to $2.49) - $.50/1 in SS 02/08/09 - $.25 each. (publix doubles up to .50 coupons)

Smart Balance Oil [Natural Blend of Canola, Soy & Olive Oils, 24-oz bot.] 2/$5 - $1/1 - in RP 02/01/09 - $1.50 each

Kroger Run

we had to do a last minute diaper run tonight, and i swung by our kroger. i had a dollar off coupon, as well as a 1.25 off e-saver coupon loaded to my plus card. pampers were on sale this week for 9.99 a jumbo pack, but after coupons it was 7.75. not as good as some of the deals i've seen floating around, but 2.25 off of something we have to buy all the time was a great deal in my mind.

while we were there, i checked out the clearance bins (which i've seen at several krogers lately.) and found a few hidden gems.

de cecco pasta, normally 3.99 a pound, on sale for .99 each.
vicks early defense hand sanitizer .99 each, free after 1.00 off any vicks products
walkers shortbread 1/2 price (not as good a price as i like, but walkers is so good i couldn't pass it up.)

a couple of weeks ago, there was a great set of books on clearance, and i found a really good cookbook by john pawson and annie bell for 3 bucks. there were some various knitting books, but none of them really caught my eye like this book did. anywho, inside there were some really great, simple recipes that don't require hours in the kitchen, or elaborate setups. just good quality food, that when purchased on sale, ends up being pretty cheap. more on all that later.

Monday, February 16, 2009

well, i finally did it. after 2 years of blogging, i'm jumping into the worlds of savings and foodie blogs. although i'm no culinary genius, and i'm no dave ramsey, there are two things that i adore in this world... one is saving money, and the other is cooking. and not just cooking, but cooking good food. and challenging recipes.

i rarely make any recipe twice, although i have been known to do it on occasion. i hate to pay full price for anything.... you can ask my friends and family, i have a stockpile of things i got for free, and i will more than likely give you anything in my stockpile. because what's the fun of getting things for free if you can't use them all.

i'm inspired by the shoppers who can save 70-80% regularly on groceries. CVS is my wonder drug. clearance aisles get my heart racing. and strange exotic ingredients that i can't source locally? well, they're on a permanent wish list in my head.

i'm trying to honor the Lord with my finances, and still have fun doing it.

welcome to cooking in other people's kitchens. my name is catherine, and i'll be your chef, your guide, and most of all, your companion in the journey of saving money, and making it work.