Why is it so hard to get back to real life (i.e. cooking) after a vacation? I'm feeling so uncreative. Maybe I'm in a rut because I'm tired of cool weather, and just really want it to be summer already. Or at least spring! I need a seasonal change for a little inspiration. We had a hint of warmth and sunshine on the weekend but then it was back to same-old, same-old. While the weather was playing at summer, I baked a banana-rhubarb tart , and made a pomegranate-banana smoothie.
The kind people at Pom Wonderful sent me another case of Pom pomegranate juice. The juice is so appealing I have the hardest time thinking up creative ways to use it in cooking instead of just drinking it straight. I kind of compromised with one of the bottles by making it into a delicious smoothie, and I have some ideas for pomegranate-strawberry and pomegranate-blackberry sauce for ice cream. But drinking it plain seems like the perfect way to reap its many benefits. According to the Pom literature, hundreds of scientific tests show Pom to have more potent antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea, vitamin C and vitamin E. It's pure pomegranate juice with no additives whatsoever, and it tastes so good.
Full disclosure: I was given a free case of Pom Pomegranate juice with no pressure or expectation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Mr. EV organized a family potluck dinner Sunday night, and the dish above is a Thai noodle salad brought by one of our sons. I just loved it. He followed this recipe except he added pan-fried tofu, and I highly recommend this dish.
Mr. EV made his standby coleslaw and potato salad from recipes in Vegan Deli, by Joanne Stepaniak. This little cookbook has lots of vegan versions of deli items you may have enjoyed in the past. He made Vinaigrette Coleslaw and Grandma's Potato Salad.
The dinner also included a very spicy chickpea salad tester recipe from Celine and Jonimarie's in-progress cookbook.
Here's Miss E, very pleased with her little slice of rhubarb tart and some soy delicious. She ate it all even though she "wasn't hungry." (Photo taken just before the mug fell and soymilk flew everywhere.)
OK, so maybe I had a little inspiration this week, but it wasn't from the weather. I was tempted by Mihl to make whole grain flourless sourdough spelt bread like the one she highlighted on her blog, Seitan is my motor. It looks like a killer bread, and maybe someday I actually will make it, but you know how lazy I am. Instead, I made a batch of whole grain no-knead bread with added sunflower seeds, black sesame seeds, kalonji and soaked grains. I was intrigued by her use of a Brühstückand wanted to try adding a soaked whole grain to my basic dough. The only whole grain in the pantry was farro so I soaked it according to Mihl's directions, and added it to the dough when I added the liquid. (The no-knead dough was based on the basic recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day . Though I do use different ingredient proportions and quantities, the procedure is basically the same. Mihl is making artisan bread more like what you'd find in The Bread Bakers Apprentice, my favorite bread baking book, but more of a commitment to time and technique than HB5)
I don't know how adding the farro could have made such a difference, but this was one of the best loaves I've ever made. Both the taste and texture were superior. I guess I'll be adding a new step to my easy bread making. (I used about 1/2 cup farro and 1 cup of water, brought to a boil then allowed to sit for several hours.)
A while ago, I received a blog award from Blessedmama, and I'm supposed to pass it along to 12 bloggers. This is too hard, I think. I read and enjoy so many blogs that it's impossible to narrow the field down to 12. If I choose 12 I'll have to choose at least 20 more. Too hard. The last time I received an award I talked about how hard it is for me (an indecisive Libra) to make these kinds of choices. To make things even harder, every time I picked out a blog to give the award to, it already had one! Sigh. I really appreciate the award but I've decided to break the rules (you all know rules were made to be broken, right?), and pass the award along to someone who doesn't even have a blog. I'm giving the award to Courtney (from Minneapolis), a long time commenter on this and other blogs. Courtney's comments are always thoughtful and cheerful, and just seeing her name on the comment list makes me smile. Courtney is a part of the blog world even though she doesn't write her own blog, and it's people like Courtney who inspire bloggers to keep blogging. OK Courtney, now that I've embarrassed you, I hope you'll still visit. :) If you would like to pass the award on, the bloggers you choose can grab the icon from my blog or Blessedmama's. Just follow whatever rules you choose.
The Rules, should you choose to accept themThe Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world. The rules for accepting this award are 1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post. 2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers. 3. Link the nominees within your post. 4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog. 5. Share the love, and link to the person from whom you received this award.
Father's Day is coming Will you be making a Father's Day cake this weekend? Matt S from tiepediahas collected a bunch of pictures of cool shirt-and-tie decorated cakes that he would like to share with you. Perhaps they will inspire you to get creative with fondant! Matt really likes ties and has a whole blog dedicated to them! Stop by to see his clever take on the world of ties.