Gonna have some fun. Show ya how it's done . . .

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

TGIF! This week's been busy. So busy, in fact, that I've not have much time in the kitchen to cook or bake. I've been eating relatively poorly, at least in my opinion. (OK. Yesterday I scarfed down half a bag of chocolate covered pretzels because I forgot my lunch.) And the only way I can measure this is in how I feel: ABSOLUTELY LOUSY! We are what we eat after all. And right now I'm a hot mess of bread and chocolate.

It's not all been bad, though. Really. We did take some time the other night to modify the Tarka Dhal recipe (by using okra instead of sweet potatoes) and spoon it over some spongy bread (that I invented randomly out of desperation).

(never home)maker Spongy Bread (makes 6 flat loaves)

What you'll need . . .
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch or two of salt

Method . . .
  1. Mix all ingredients together (I used my hands -- seriously!) until well combined with no lumps.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium to high heat and spray or coat with olive oil.
  3. Pour 1/6 of the batter onto the pan and spread out with a spoon, trying to make it as large as possible. Cook for a couple minutes, until you can flip like a pancake.
  4. Once you flip, press down to get it to be as flat as possible. Keep cooking on both sides until golden brown.
  5. Serve as the base for any recipe you choose -- works especially well with Indian food.
In other news, since I hurt my hand in volleyball two weeks in a row, I've not been doing any push-ups for like three weeks. Finally last night I was able to try again without my hand swelling up. And I went from being able to do maybe 75 a few weeks ago to only 40. I know. "Only" 40 isn't too bad, but this all means my negative chin-ups aren't exactly on track. I'll get back into it soon, I hope.

Speaking of getting back into it, you were all so helpful the other day when I wrote about my struggle with race burnout and marathon training. I'm happy to report that I ran my 16-miler over the weekend without feeling awful about it.

At least for now, I'm back on track! And running in my Vibrams has helped with a bit of my motivation slump.

Thank for you all your help and motivation. Some of my favorite reader suggestions include:
  • "You could replace 1 or 2 of your weekly runs with a long bike ride... it will help you uphold your cardio endurance, but give you a break from running!" (Julie @ SavvyEats)
  • "In training for my ultramarathon, I got a bit fatigued, so I joined the local road runners group. It's been so great because I have been able to meet new people and that has spiced up training." (Rebecca @ Yes, I Enjoy Running This Much)
  • "I say take a week off from running, and cross train (or do nothing!) instead. You might find yourself feeling revived sooner than you think!" (Chrissy @ The New Me)
  • "Maybe 2 rest days in a row (I know it's rough with your schedule of training), but that usually kicks me back into remembering all of the wonderful things running does for both body and mind." (Ian @ Penn Appetit)
  • "Also don't forget . . . you can do it!" (Josie @ PhotoMeal)

A couple week ago, Cristina (My Tea Shelf) contacted me about her small tea company based in Seattle. She makes original herbal infusions and tea blends -- AND designs/makes all her (gorgeous) packaging at home.

What this boils down to is this: She sent me a sampler pack of her teas, and -- let me tell you -- it's absolutely fantastic. Not only are the flavors and names unique -- they taste great, too. And I think her tea would make great gifts . . . especially because it's wrapped up in such a beautiful package. My favorite so far is the Pineapple-Ginger. But my favorite name is the Good Hair Day. Just makes me smile.

Now, if I can recommend just one thing for you try out this weekend, try making the no-knead chocolate walnut bread from Monday's post. Truly.

You will just need to set aside maybe 15 minutes (actually less) to stir every together tomorrow. Then leave it all in a warm place (like inside your microwave -- while it's off, of course) overnight. Sunday, you can bake it and use it for a variety of purposes, including breakfast or even lunch or dinner.

Have a great weekend. We have some special posts in store for next week. We can't wait!

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