Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writer's Block

I've been staring at a mess of words for an hour now.

Well, that's not entirely true. I stopped to bake. And do the dishes from dinner. And vacuum. And clean the kitchen floor.

So now I'm back at the computer. I'm supposed to be working on my application to Vermont College's MFA. Somehow when I have no incentive to write, I'm prolific. But as soon as I have a lot riding on 25 measly pages, my mind locks up.

This blog is a no-incentive, high-satisfaction medium for me, so here we meet again.

Let's begin with a Bountiful Baskets update:

Blackberry-Banana-Mango Shakes
Thanks Mike, for making it look pretty!

I've recently come into some food storage items, which has been another fun food challenge for us. I made these shakes with
1 mango (BB),
1 banana (BB),
about 1/2 c. blackberries (BB),
1/3 c. powdered milk (food storage),
1/2 c. water (the sink, hehe...),
1 can of tropical fruit plus its lite syrup (food storage),
1 c. ice
and a tiny splash of vanilla.
I modified this recipe a bit from the back of the powdered milk box. They were yummy! Next time, I'd add a little honey and freeze all the fruit before hand. The shake was shake-y, but I'd have preferred an icier texture.

My mom also gave me her old bread machine. She's had it for a long time, and it's always made really great bread. She also gave me tons of bread mixes! On Monday, I whipped up some cinnamon raisin bread. I love the bread machine: throw in the mix, the yeast, and the water, and 4 hours and 10 minutes later culinary magic yields a beautiful loaf of nice, dense bread. I was worried that the yeast might be too old, so I used a fresh packet.

Today, I decided to experiment with the mixes as they were and made some Hawaiian sweet bread without replacing the yeast packet with fresh yeast. Lesson learned! The bread had a great flavor but was a dense little brick. So I decided to get creative and make bread pudding with a few things I have needed to use up.

Hawaiian Bread Pudding
Sorry for the yucky picture; I am not a photographer, just a foodie.

I made this with
about 2 c. of the sad Hawaiian bread brick cubed (food storage),
about 1/2 c. coconut milk that Mike had sweetened a little while ago with brown sugar,
1/3 c. powdered milk (food storage),
1 c. water,
1/2 tsp. cinnamon,
a little splash of vanilla,
and 1 egg.
I mixed all the ingredients together, saving the bread for last. I let it sit in the fridge for a while, gave it a good toss, and sprinkled it (generously) with brown sugar and a few dots of butter. Baked it for about 35 minutes, until it was bubbly and springy.

Oh. My. Word. I just finished a little bowl, and you better believe I'm going back for more. Bread pudding traditionally has raisins in it (we didn't have any, and I didn't feel like them anyway) and is served with a Bourbon sauce which... yeah, again, didn't exactly have some on hand. The brown sugar makes it alllll okay, but I was really tempted to make a Dr. Pepper sauce. But I didn't feel like any more dishes tonight. Maybe another day.

I also made some stuffed Anaheim peppers. No pictures of that. It's not my fave flavor, but Mikey ate 'em down. We had a little veggie cream cheese hanging around, so I added an egg yolk, lots of grated Monterey Jack, diced green onions I needed to use up, small diced ham, you know, all the good stuff. I served it with refried beans and Summer Corn Fritters from that Jessica Seinfeld cookbook. Yummy-docious.

And I'm on a homemade tomato sauce kick. I didn't realize how easy it is to make! Maybe I'll ramble about that another day.

Several random pieces of completely unrelated news:
  • We're moving to San Antonio in August! Yay to Mike for being an adult and getting into grad school!
  • I started a yoga class today. My body and soul are happy, happy, happy. Today's mantra: PATIENCE.
  • For the first time in my life, I have officially "let myself go" at school. I do what I have to do to get it done. I've just been so busy with life...
  • I've planted four pots with herbs and flowers. They're sitting right outside our front door, and I can't wait to see some little sprouts. I check them every day! Hopefully we'll get to our plot in the ward garden soon.
Okay, it's been another hour. Can I hack it as a writer?

Upcoming: My cousin Kristen's Spinach-Kale Turnovers (hello leftover chard!!)

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