recipe

Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo – An Easy Bread Recipe and A Good Read

When I am really into a book I take it everywhere with me – confession – I even bring it into the car (sometimes I have time to read while waiting for children – don’t worry – no reading while driving!), I also take it to the kitchen while I am making dinner (sometimes that doesn’t work out very well). When I couldn’t put down Julia’s Child, it was okay because the great recipes meant it was in the kitchen for practical reasons, too.

The title character, Julia Bailey, is a mom on a mission. She can’t find healthy store-bought food that she wants to feed her children and starts making her own healthy recipes like Apple & Cheddar Muffets (which are delicious by the way). She starts making them for friends, too, and before she knows it, she is running a small organic toddler food business.

I loved Julia and completely related, below is an excerpt from the book, written by Julia as recipe notes:

“…The first time I wrote this, I put ‘organic’ in front of every ingredient. But it looked overzealous and uptight. (Don’t say it – kind of like me). What do you think?…

Author Sarah Pinneo clearly gets it and writes an funny, engaging book about trying to have her organic toddler bites and eat them, too. Don’t believe me – Check out the review on Kirkus Reviews.

Okay, I admit that I had a food mill, bought organic milk and produce and was maybe occasionally uptight and overzealous. I am in recovery now and only carry first aid kits and car blankets and a life hammer and…never mind, I’ll stop now.

Sarah was nice enough to include a recipe which is lovely, easy and delicious (I made it on Super Bowl Sunday – a great bread for soups, sandwiches and chili!)

Baking Bread for Busy Moms

By Sarah Pinneo

Writing Julia’s Child, and then working with Penguin USA on publishing it, was a lot of fun. But it was also a lot of work. When things got intense, I didn’t fail to notice the irony—some weeks I spent more hours writing about cooking for children than I did cooking for my real children.

The conventional wisdom is: write what you know. As a result, Julia’s Child is about mother guilt. And also toddlers, organic food, and green-washing. (And, to a lesser extent, goat manure and boobs. Julia’s Child is a comedy.)

Even while juggling all these topics, I’ve found that it’s still possible to bake bread. Nothing else makes the house smell more like home. My desk is in the kitchen, allowing me to sit mere feet from where the dough is rising. One feels more virtuous about scanning twitter while sitting in the same room with a bread dough you’ve made yourself. Trust me.

Due to the profusion of no-knead dough recipes in the past few years, you can bake bread without spending hours on it. But you do have to time it correctly—because it must rise for many hours. This is how I manage it, even during the busy weeks:

No Knead Bread, Adapted from a New York Times recipe by Jim Lahey

Ingredients

3 cups of all-purpose flour, or 2 cups all-purpose plus 1 cup of whole wheat

1/4 teaspoon fast acting (or instant) yeast

1 teaspoon salt

On Friday night, add all the ingredients to a big mixing bowl. Pour in 1 5/8 cups of tepid water, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. (My six-year old loves this job.) The dough will be shaggy and sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set on the countertop until morning.

First thing Saturday morning, put out a silicone mat or another not-sticky surface on the countertop. Sprinkle flour liberally on the mat. Turn out your risen dough onto the flour, and sprinkle even more flour on top. Then, gently fold the blob of dough in on itself a few times. Invert your mixing bowl, allowing it to act as a domed lid over the dough, and let it rise again.

Around 10 in the morning, preheat the oven to 425. Put a large pot with a lid in the oven to preheat as well. Set the timer for a half hour, so you won’t forget to put the bread in the oven.

At 10:30, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven. Set the lid aside.

Take the top off of your dough, and turn it out, into the pot. (It will still look like a big wet mess. Don’t panic.)

Carefully replace the hot pot lid, and put the pot in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake 20-30 more minutes, until the bread has a deep brown crust.

Cool thoroughly. Right around 12:30, you will be able to enjoy fresh bread with lunch!

Any busy mother will relate to this book – it is a great read and even has tried and true recipes. (I made the bread and the muffets). The book also has great tips for cooking with toddlers like this one: Give a toddler a chopstick when it is their turn to stir the flour. Trust me, you’ll thank her for this.

Win a copy of the lovely and Julia’s Child by commenting below – I’ll add the comments from last week’s post to this one and a winner will be posted here.

Winner will be chosen by the plug-in I use so no one calls foul – And The Winner Is

This contest will run through February 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm. Winner will be contacted by email and listed here.

For good measure, follow Sarah Pinneo on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

Before I Forget Tip: I used to take along a whole avocado for a day out (put it in a bag with a baby spoon and a butter knife) as a quick portable meal or a snack for older children. Whew, it has been a while since I had to pack that way!

 

And The Winner is Sarah C! Sarah will get an email and a copy of Julia’s Child!

Shopping for the Holidays with blogger extraordinaire, Pragmatic Mom

Last year, Pragmatic Mom and I shared a wildly popular (said modestly, eyes downcast) series of 12 posts for the 12 Days of – not Christmas – but Shopping. This year we are a little more on top of things and are starting earlier.  We covered those challenging people to buy for (Gifts for Father-in-law was by far the most searched) including in-laws, tutors, and teachers. How can you be your best centered self (not self-centered self) if you are distracted and driving around searching for gifts? We’ve got you covered. This was such fun and worked so well last year that we are formatting it the same way this year. We’ll be joint posting for the twelve days and Pragmatic Mom will do half of each post, and I’ll do the other. We even have a giveaway thrown in the mix this year, too, from Botanical Paperworks – Check out their Green Gifts Guide and enter to win Eco Coil Calendar and Pop Garden Pocket Notebooks at Pragmatic Mom on December 4th and Poppy Notebook Pad and Mittens Card Set here on December 5th!

So here is a preview: The 12 Days of Shopping

Thursday, December 1:  Make Your Own Gifts

Friday, December 2:  Kids Make Gifts Craft

Saturday, December 3: Personalized Gifts

Sunday, December 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Monday, December 5:  Tutors/Teacherscapability mom scrounges sales racks for tea towels from Sur la table and anthropologie

Tuesday, December 6:  High Tech/Low Tech

Wednesday, December 7:  Hostess/Doing Good and Getting Something

Thursday, December 8:  Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer

Friday, December 9:  Husband, Me (Our Own  List)

Saturday, December 10:  Pets

Sunday, December 11:  Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Monday, December 12:  ‘Cause I Am So Together,  Last Minute Home Made Gifts

 

Sunday Night Supper – Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

Sunday Night Supper      A fast and furious but warming dinner to chase away the gray days we have had.  Ah, Spring in New England! Really, this is easy (and takes about 15 minutes to cook) but I used a lot of pans because we had whole wheat pasta (for someone) and I also made sautéed spinach that next time I would just cook in the same pan as the shrimp. I also added scallops and they were lovely. Serve with a green salad and bread of choice. Great Sunday night supper.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 lbs of linguine (1 lb white pasta, 1/2 lb whole wheat – you will need two pots)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
  • 5 tablespoons good olive oil 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 2 pounds large shrimp (about 32 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons) (I do love lemon but family prefers less so next time I will use only 2 lemons and add pasta water)
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds (did not have, did not care, were not missed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (did not have – left out )

Directions

Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon (I used less) of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Pay close attention as the garlic burns easily.  Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and sauté until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.  Here is where I would throw some more butter and more (!) garlic into the pan and add the spinach. I liked it mixed in with my pasta but some prefer it to stand-alone. Makes about 6 servings.

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi,2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

It must be synchronicity or something

The world works in funny ways – I have to go to Treat Cupcake Bartreat cupcake bar needham from capabilitymom.com (I know it is a tough job but I will take a hit for the team) because I have heard about it a dozen different ways in the past weeks and because I do love cupcakes and you get to build your own cupcakes so, really, it is for the children. I will report later this week.  I also have to go to Sofra – I am picking up a friend’s farm share while they are away -and the pick up spot is in the store – tough week. Earthquake cookies to go, please.  It is our turn for our shared farm share this week as well so I would love any veggie recipes or we will be eating lots and lots of salads. More baked goods but balanced by veggies, so that’s good, right? Right?capability mom goes to sofra

Then, after I put up the Woman’s Day link to those great food bloggers, another friend sent me a link to great stuff to do in Portland, Maine…from Woman’s Day! Seriously, is it time to look into this august publication again? I don’t know but so far, very promising. The website is well organized and they even make fun of their old covers here.

capability mom finds woman's dayPost Script:
Okay, something is up – I just got back from a visit to the dermatologist’s – just a look at something I thought should be looked at – and while in the waiting room of this lovely practice, I saw, yes, you guessed it…Woman’s Day magazine – so I read it, of course. The articles are good, the writing is very good and I was all set to be tucked in to this issue but the very prompt and professional staff at Krauss Dermatology did not allow a good long read. All the better. I think I should at the very least go buy my own copy at this point.

capability mm finds two great resources in woman's day magazine

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