Sunday, March 8, 2009

i do like to update on sundays ...!

imagine how my kitchen smelled today!

well, it's about time i came on to post some recipes! i also figured i'd intersperse some recent photos, just for fun. i really want to post some knitting i just finished, but it's a secret gift ... and there is one flaw i need to fix ... so .. .not. just. yet. but suffice to say i'll be moving on to another secret gift, very soon! i really enjoy knitting.

okay, the recipe that's been marvelous to me, which i baked up today (thankfully a planned thunderstorm never quite interrupted the process as i'd feared it would).

Amish White/Wheat Bread (i forget the source, i am so sorry!!)

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar (obviously not white table sugar, icchh)
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (i like olive)
6 cups bread flour

In large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles creamy foam. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour, one cup at a time. Knead dough (add more flour if it's too wet and sticky) on a lightly floured surface till smooth (i think about 10 minutes works well). Place in well-oiled bowl (i just use the same one i mixed in), and turn dought to coat. cover with damp cloth. Allow to rise till doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down in middle. Knead for a few minutes (about five), then divide in half. Shape into two loaves, and place in two well-oiled 9x5 bread loaf pans (i just bought these red ceramic ones, they're charming). Allow to rise 30 min (mine took about 45 to get to the desired height), or until dough has almost risen over the tops of the pans. Bake at 350degF (mine you have to do it at 300, i swear the dial is off b/c it used to overcook everything, so be careful with this if you have a finnicky oven, too) for 30 minutes. Then let it cool for at least one hour -- i say this b/c i've let mine cool all of 5-10 minutes, then when i go to flip it over and out of the pan, the bottom and sides come off the bread, whoops!

otherwise -- this is PERFECT-tasting and textured bread, and tastes divine (i like olive oil and salt, but i bet butter/honey or fruit spreads are lovely, too! in fact, i have some pumpkin butter i need to try ....; )

i heart cooking in vintage frocks ; )

and taking silly photos when i'm cooking.

okay, enough of my ugly mug for now ... here's the other recipe i've been dying to share with you ... i've made it several times over the last few weeks. it freezes *very* well ... it doubles well (you can cook both batches of seitan together, but i find you must cook each batch of veggies separately if you're doubling, otherwise it's way too bulky. i also recommend doubling the sauce for each batch ... otherwise the water from the veggies kind of dilutes the flavor).

Sweet-and-Sour Seitan (source: New Vegetarian Cooking: 120 Fast, Fresh, and Fabulous recipes (this cookbook is GREAT!!) by Rose Elliot

2tbsp vegetable oil (i use olive or safflower)
1 cup (225 g, or one package) seitan, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 carrots, cut into strips
1 fat zucchini (or, what I could find, 2 or 3 tiny ones that add up to a fat one, right? hell, it's winter here, people), cut into strips
1 small pineapple, peeled and cut into strips (uh ... no. 2 cups' worth of canned organic pineapple chunks, drained, worked fine here)
bunch of green onions/scallions, cut into strips

For the sauce (as i said before, i recommend doubling this per batch)
1 tbsp each of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, tamari, liquid honey, grated fresh ginger.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and black pepper

* i just chopped the garlic and ginger at the same time in the food processor. works like a charm.

Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry the seitan until crisp (this takes a LONG time, cover it but stir frequently or it will crust and brown the bottom of your pan). Remove the seitan from the pan, then add the vegetables and stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until the veggies are still crisp but getting tender.

Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into the veggies, stirring. Add the seitan and cook another minute or two until hot, then serve. I like it over brown rice ... but the book recommends jasmine rice, too (yum!), which i have not yet made. again, as i said before, this freezes very well.

pretty soon, i'll post the recipe for my French pistou (from the same cookbook as the seitain), too. i'm excited to receive my Kripalu cookbook (thanks, heather for the recommendation) in the post this week, as well. i love cookbooks and recipes, fun!

this week, i also plan to photograph my ever-growing vintage dress collection (most of them were purchased at goodwills for very little money) ... just because it makes me happy to look at and wear them. i can't wait to make some dresses of my very own some day, which i just can't find in stores!

i'll leave you, as promised sometime earlier, with some random beauty from my book Instant Karma: 8,879 ways to give yourself and others good fortune right now, by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

**realize that your "wasted day" was probably the break you needed.

**be grateful for a meal, no matter how simple

**read the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (i concur ... i have two of his books, they're incredible poetry!)

have a good week, my lovelies. catch you soon!


karen <3


  1. I like Emerson a lot, one of my English professors absolutely loved him and put many of his essays on our syllabus. Have you read Walden by Thoreau? I think you'd really enjoy that, too.

  2. i've skimmed through it. will do again, sometime!

  3. That bread sure does look good. Love the photos you took of yourself too. And vintage dress looks very cute.