Friday, September 08, 2006

a tale of three cooking projects + job update

First, when I got home from the State Fair on Monday night, I was feeling more than a little icky from the junk I had eaten at the fair, so I decided to make something simple and healthy for supper. I had half a can of diced tomatoes in liquid left from a recipe earlier that week, and I had been wanting to make them into soup of some kind! I just sort of started throwing leftovers in the pot, and here's what I came up with:
example
I did a naughty thing with this soup -- I BOILED it for ten minutes to cook the macaroni! And what happened? The white beans I had added completely fell apart and turned into this lovely, thick, almost-creamy broth. Yum. I love happy accidents.

Next, I made "Fig and Almond Bars" from Cooking Light yesterday. Except that I didn't have any figs. Or almonds. In fact, out of the 11 ingredients in the original recipe, only 4 of them made it into my revised version -- "Apricot Coconut Blondies."
example
I used commercial egg replacer, which I think was my first mistake. Bah! They are flat and too sticky and kind of oily, because I used margarine, which has a higher fat content than butter, which the recipe originally called for. Changes for next time: less margarine, a bit more flour, use something else for the egg (maybe tofu?), and increase the baking powder by 50%.

Last, I made a loaf of bread from "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest" last night. I followed this recipe/method pretty closely, except I used margarine instead of butter, and used all whole-wheat bread flour. It is definitely the most tender homemade bread I've ever made, but almost to a fault -- it reminds me more of a biscuit than a loaf of bread. I will definitely cut back on the marg next time.The 20 minutes of kneading got very tiring, but I was able to achieve halfway decent gluten development . . . but I should have kneaded for a little longer. (Sunflower seeds were popping out everywhere, though, so I was getting a little frustrated.) I also didn't let it rise enough during the final rise, methinks, but I was just so stinking tired at that point, I chucked it in the oven after 40 minutes.
Regardless, it made pretty good toast this morning. Sunflower Millet Bread:
example
P.S. My first time working with millet, too!

Still no job (or interviews for that matter,) but I did receive one rejection email yesterday just two lousy hours after I sent in my letter of interest and resume. Well phooey on them! Anyhow, I found the most interesting job opening yesterday, which I immediately applied for . . . my co-op is looking for a baker! It would be a huge paycut, and probably funny hours, but I applied for it anyway, even though I have zero professional baking experience. Here's hopin'!

6 comments:

Carrie™ said...

OMG! That soup looks KILLER!! I don't like milk/cream soups, but I like to puree soup to give that effect. What you did even saves that step. Awesome!
Your bars sound really good too. With coconut! I've never used a commercial egg replacer. Almost every recipe I've veganized, I use soft tofu that I whip up in the food processor first. I find that baked goods come out so moist and light. I don't think I would ever put eggs in a cake again.

Anonymous said...

the soup looks awesome and the bread too!

http://tropicalvegetarianfamily.blogspot.com/

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Catherine - too funny about the rejection letter. I interviewed at the Limited a long time ago and they must have not liked me because I received the rejection card in the mail the next day!

I, too applied at the Wedge as they were looking for an HR person. Which reminds me, I need to follow up on that one. That would be so cool if you were a baker there!

I'm so glad your soup was a happy accident - it looks great.

-Crystal

bakehouse dori said...

I've been in a bread making mode too. That bread looks pretty. I love pretty bread. I know in Iowa that bread bakers have a speial schooling certification they get through a community college. Bread making commercially is laborious and not without challenge. I wish you the best.

funwithyourfood said...

I'm looking for a new job too. It's a little stressful.. I even bought a book to help me out. I think it was a good idea. imight have two interviews next week, woohoo

Michelle said...

that soup looks great!