Monday, September 29, 2014

Little Pizza Challenge

So, it is difficult to find a small recipe for pizza dough. I finally found one on Smitten Kitchen (thank you!) You might be asking yourself, Why is this important? I'll tell you why. Because as every chef knows, a good pizza dough is invaluable. It can save your life. But it has to be proportionate if you are opposed to waste or to leaving excess dough in your fridge to expand and then eventually explode, bursting right through the thin film of plastic meant to contain it. No, I need a small recipe.
Dare I share my recipe here? I think not. If you mean business about your pizza, you will summon the strength you need to search for the recipe yourself.
The second part of this challenge was to create the heart shape. It is novel, it is pretty, I love hearts, whether they are planned or not planned. (An example of a not planned heart is one I saw in Hawaii by my hotel room. The waves from the ocean had carved a heart into a rock. But then again, maybe Mother Nature had that planned all along.)
It turns out making a heart shaped pizza is not so tricky. You just work with the dough a little, which is soft and warm like a kitten, so it is not by any means a chore. Obviously my heart could use some practice and refinement, but you know, this is my first one, and I am happy with it.
And I used tiny, tiny pepperoni, which are really kind of good.
Don't forget the cornmeal on the bottom of your pan. This adds an authentic flair and a rustic, subtle crunch.

Pizza makes me think that anything is possible.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Funny Kit Kat & the Reusable Grocery Bag

Kitty's name is still Pan, adapted from Marzipan, but sometimes I call her Kit Kat. 

She's such a lover, a tyrant, a comedian, and a kook. Most of all, she is a surprise. I have had many, many pets in my lifetime, including a mouse that lived on my shoulder. Yah, once I freaked my teacher out really bad with that one. 

Anyway, it's good that different chapters of our lives allow for different pets. The kitty and the mouse would not have gone well together. But in my heart? They live in perfect harmony. 

"A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys."
 ~Barbara Holland

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Composting, Leaf Blowing, Pets & a little blue dress

my compost pile! creatively lined with peaches on one side. topped with pretty pink leaves. 
usually not this pretty. 

Granny Wink! oh I love the sight of my grandma blowing leaves in her Ughs. 

cute Pan! she is getting to know the ceramic Siamese cats in my garage. i mean what else would she be doing? 

cute Theo! he gets more adventurous every day. he even watched a movie with me and Pan the other day. then he went to the bathroom on me. yah. 

Theo loves to have his head scratched. 

Pan never ceases to make me laugh, and laugh some more. 

“I know it seems hard sometimes but remember one thing. Through every dark night, there's a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up.... and handle it.” 
― Tupac Shakur

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kitchen Confessional

Today we are going to talk soup.

My blog address is named after a line from Batman Begins. So how do I tie in soup with Batman? Hmmmm.

I'm not exactly sure, but even heroes need soup. Maybe there are not a lot of cozy kitchen scenes portrayed in Batman Begins, or The Dark Knight, or even The Dark Knight Rises, but I am just sure that to gather strength, Batman eats a lot of soup.

Due to my activities on Pinterest, I notice that many people have an obsession with food. I find it a worthy obsession, for when I do not eat well, I am not able to sleep or basically enjoy anything. Last night I woke up with a line from 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' in my head-

"When you come to my house and I cook for you?"

And I just started cracking up. I mean, really laughing. But then I became sad, because I miss cooking so much for the people I love. I miss cooking for my sister-in-law, who cannot eat gluten. I miss cooking for my parents, who I no longer live with. It is really, really hard for me to cook something and not share it with someone.

Enter the digital age! This must be why we blog. Maybe I can't cook for everyone, but we can share meals vicariously! By the way, I will find someone to share my soup with, if only a bowl...

All right enough chit chat. This is my idea of a good lunch. Winter greens like kale are so fortifying. Great toppings give soup an extra boost. Pumpkin bread adds richness and pleasure. Served with something bubbly, like a ginger ale with grenadine syrup.

Don't forget something good playing in the background, and at least one candle burning in the house. Preferably with a subtle fragrance.

White Bean Soup with Kielbasa, Fennel, and Kale

2 T Olive oil
1/2 smoked kielbasa sausage
4 cups chopped kale
1 onion
1 fennel bulb
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 t fresh thyme
1/4 t dried crushed red pepper
8 cups low salt chicken broth
1 can white beans

Freshly grated parmesan, to serve
Good quality pesto, to serve

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your vegetables and sausage and sauté until browned and tender, about 20 minutes. I sort of throw things in the pot as they are cooking. 
When you sauté kale at high heat and then add liquid, you are using a technique called braising. This caused the kale to lose its bitter flavor and become sweet and tender. 
Next, add your garlic and herbs, and sauté a few minutes more. Add your chicken broth and drained beans, and simmer your soup vigorously for about 20 minutes. 

Remember to top your soup with pesto and freshly grated parmesan. 

Be well, eat well!

“There's a friendly tie of some sort between music and eating.” 
― Thomas HardyUnder the Greenwood Tree

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Banana Tattoos

I had this really great opportunity to be the pioneer in banana art at my library.
This is the kind of opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime!
The project was banana tattoos.
You use a needle to pierce the skin of the banana. The oxidation process turns the banana skin brown where the needle has been inserted.
Of course, you will need a muse. I chose Princess Tutu. Then I found an image of her that I felt would fit the shape of the banana.
To place the image of Princess Tutu on the banana, I used a sewing technique called 'notching'. Basically this means cutting little triangles where the image curves so that it can move with the contours of the shape it is being imposed on.
This was a really fun activity. The oxidation process takes place almost immediately, so you get very fast results. It would make a cute gift or a unexpected treat in a lunch bag.

Here is the link to the brilliant artist who taught me the intricate craft of the banana tattoo:
And have fun with your own banana creations!

“Silas consumed only one food, and it was not bananas.”
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kitty in a Drawer

Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it. - Leonardo Da Vinci