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 22, 2014

On Writing; Also Living; by Annie Dillard

Recently I finished my second reading of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard. I really love this woman, and I can't say why, except that her writing connects me to something vital, something lasting, something true. When I read this book, the passages are so rich, so living, so full of splendor, that I want to amplify my voice to the whole world as I shout them from mountaintops. 

There's a certain comfort in rereading, even working at a library bursting to the seams with new books. It's like my brain has tucked away the memories from the places we have visited together, Annie and I, and when we revisit them, they are even better than the first time. These places seem to me even more alive, colorful, waiting to release yet another veil, another layer to show me, a new discovery that I did not see before. 

This is why I reread, and why I think it is worth the time, the effort, the application of one's self. 

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

― Annie DillardThe Writing Life

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fun with Hair

So today I put on some dangly earrings. And for some reason, hair down just wasn't working.
I pulled it up and it actually turned out! Whoa that never happens for me.
I'm serious. Once I was working with this way cute guy named Landon. I tried so hard one day to look nice for him.
He was kind of poetic. When he saw me he started singing. Unfortunately it was a song that goes,
"Her hair is always a mess."

Oh well! I tried. But recently I have been pulling up You Tube videos with some brilliant hair stylists. I have learned so much from these hair artists.

So today I used some products from Aveda and Redken and Kiehls. I am not sure I spelled those right. I think I used Aveda Pure Abundance, Redken heat styling stuff, and Kiehls groom cream. I blew out my hair, then just barely round brushed. Then a straightener, then a low pony tail. Then just rolled up a few sections, bobby pinned and sprayed.

The feathers mean I'm feeling shy!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

encounter with Batman

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