Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Make Ahead Day - Part 2

Well, as I expected, the afternoon was not nearly as productive as the morning. Once my kiddos get home there's just too much else going on to be concentrating on cooking much. That's part of why I plan the more complicated things in the morning when I can have the kitchen to myself. Here's how the rest of the day went ...

My daughter decided she did not need a nap today, so I had a little "help" in making the grits (her favorite breakfast). We started on them at about 2:00 and by 2:30 they were done.

I then worked on the hummus while she played by herself for a while. This was a new recipe I found here via Tammy's Kitchen Tip Tuesday. I don't cook with beans at all, so this was really new for me. I guess it turned out okay. It tastes good to me, and will be a great quick lunch or snack. But I'm not sure the rest of my family would enjoy it. I'll have to work on my technique a bit.

A little after 3:00
I got the food processor and dishes washed up from the hummus and was ready to move on. Of course, this was when my little helper returned to the kitchen and played a great game of "Hide & Seek" in the cabinets, all the while telling me this amazing story - which I totally loved at the time and can't remember a word of now!

Noticing an unusually large amount of coffee left from this morning, I poured it into an ice-cube tray and popped it in the freezer. Those coffee-ice cubes will be used to cool my coffee in the morning or make a frappocino when the mood strikes.

I realized I had less than an hour before my son got home from school, so if I was going to use the bread machine (bought at a yard sale for $20.00), I had to figure out what to do.

I opted for a 1 lb. loaf of whole wheat bread. I figured this was pretty basic - I couldn't mess it up too much. However, I decided I wanted it to look a little more normal, so I set the machine to just do dough and, then I would bake it in the oven. So, I got all the ingredients together, dumped in the bread machine, set it and let it do it's thing.

4:00 PM
Then it was time to take my daughter to the bus stop to pick up my son. After we got back and I checked his backpack for homework, the machine beeped, I pulled the dough out, put it in a small bread pan and then set it in the oven.

Well, let me tell you... This was a flop. I made the tinniest, most dense loaf of whole wheat bread I've ever seen. I'm too embarrassed to even post a picture! I won't throw it out. I guess it'll be good for french toast, or if all else fails - croutons & bread crumbs. But, man. This was just not good. The number of things I could have done wrong is endless. I won't go into that now - that's a whole other post. I've got a lot to learn about making bread.

A this point I decided not to cut up the peppers for freezing - that will have to wait until tomorrow.

While it was cooking I bagged the muffins and got them into the freezer and put the granola bars into the refrigerator to cool some more.

5:15 PM
Time to start thinking about dinner. I'd planned leftovers from the night before, but needed to add one veggie. So, I heated up dinner, we ate, and hubby went off to his rehearsal.

6:45 PM
The yogurt is ready to come out of the crockpot - it looks really good on top. However, when I spooned down a bit it seemed too liquidy. So, I started straining it through cheese cloth in batches.

7:15 PM
the kids & I relaxed for a bit, then it was time for a quick 10 minute "toy pick up" and then off to bed by 8:00PM.

It's now 9:15. I'm still straining yogurt and I need to cut the granola bars, but all the dishes I can do are done and the kitchen isn't a total disaster!

The final results with the whole shooting match will be posted tomorrow morning.

To see the saga of the whole day from beginning to end, go here.


Amber said...

Hi! I was visiting your blog from money saving mom. I always have my bread machine do the kneading for me. However, after it is done which is usually 1 1/2 hours you need to put it in a greased bread pan and let it rise again for 30-45 minutes. Then bake it. It always turns out wonderful. I hope this helps.

UnfinishedMom said...

Thanks for the tip Amber. Bread is new to me and I know it can be finicky. I'm not giving up by any means. I'm curious - do you use bread flour or regular all-purpose flour?

Amber said...

It depends on the recipe. For my french bread and rolls, I use bread flour. But for my pizza dough and amish bread I use all-purpose flour. Usually whatever the recipe calls for is what I use.


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