Thanks, Pinterest

In CategoryCooking, Navel Gazing

I just did that thing where you take the shaker top from a can of parmesan cheese* and put it on a canning jar so you can have a flip-top lid for your jar.

I put baking soda in it, because that mangled box drives me nuts. Why they don’t package baking soda the same way they package baking powder is a mystery to me.

This makes me ridiculously happy.



*I bought the generic parmesan cheese for two dollars and threw it away. That stuff isn’t food, people.


In CategoryAdventure, Cooking

This house does not have a stove or oven. This is posing a significant problem for me, what with the people around here who want food cooked for them every day.

Yes, I knew going in that there was no oven or stovetop, but the owner told me that she had an electric skillet and a crock pot and a toaster oven, and I believed I could make it work. However, I foolishly thought No Oven only meant No Oven. But it also seems to mean No Cooking Utensils of Any Kind. There is no steak knife, nor spatula, nor mixing bowl. There is one tiny paring knife, ridiculously stored in a sheath, but which is so dull that I have to look at it to make sure I am using the right side of the blade.

Apparently, the house had been converted into a lawyer’s office or something before these owners turned it into a vacation rental, so it only has an office-type kitchen area. Thankfully, there is a dishwasher and decent-sized refrigerator. But I have no idea what to put in the refrigerator.

Unfortunately, I’m far enough down the Real Food path that the thought of feeding my family convenience foods for five weeks makes me ill. On the other hand, I can’t make anything elaborate because Hai, there’s NO STOVE. Gah. And also no counter space. To give you some idea, there is a Keurig coffee maker and it takes up over 50% of the counter.

So. Yeah.

I’ve made every iteration of tacos I can think of, and the electric skillet is pretty big, so I’ve been able to make skillet ziti and fried rice, but I’m running out of ideas.

Do y’all have any recipes that are Real Food but that don’t take a lot of prep or ingredients or, you know, cooking?

Oh well, at least it was cheap

In CategoryAdventure, Cooking

Before we left Washington, we sorted through ALL our stuff and planned to dump about a third of it off in storage. I had no idea what we would end up needing on this adventure, so I brought everything I could possibly think of (and that would fit). The Kitchenaid, my wheat grinder, and the crockpot were deemed unnecessary. We also dropped off sleeping bags, a bunch of toys and games, and assorted random bits we didn’t ever use.

It’s amazing how little we really need. Frankly, I wish we had gotten rid of even more. On the other hand, it’s amazing how much stuff we still had to keep. I haul around a lot of kitchen tools. We are on our 5th place and only 2 of them have had skillets I would be willing to cook in. No one has had decent knives, there’s nary a measuring cup to be found, and it’s hit or miss on little things like cheese graters and pizza cutters. Most of the homes have a ridiculously large wine glass collections, but if you want a cookie sheet, you’d better head to WalMart. We also have our own plastic cups and coffee mugs and my big soup pot and an edited-but-still-big spice collection.

I was thrilled to get rid of all that stuff, because it was just a reminder that I wasn’t grinding my own wheat or doing supplementary logic exercises with the kids or whatever. I hate it when my stuff throws me guilt trips. Jim was happy to get rid of it, because he is the chief schlepper and packing the trailer was turning into stressful 3D puzzle.

I can’t even really remember what we left behind, which just goes to show how important it all was.

There is ONE thing. One small thing I wish I still had…

Now that we are in Arizona, it’s *newsflash* hot. Hot means I don’t want to cook much or turn on the oven. But I still have to make dinner. We’ve eaten a zillion salads, but the kids are getting so much exercise swimming they’re hungry ALL THE TIME.


I had to go buy a crock pot. Dang it.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread? OH YES WE CAN.

In CategoryCooking

So after making approximately 823 loaves of No-Knead Bread, during which time the kids refused to eat the crust because they are COMPETELY IN THE WRONG and don’t know from good food, Jim said to me, “Hey, do you think that you could make this in a loaf pan and cook it the regular way?”

To which I said coldly, “if you people hate my bread, JUST SAY IT STRAIGHT OUT.”

And then I burst into tears and ran away.



I tried it, and it worked!

Which was, in fact, both exciting AND annoying.

Because I am so mature that way.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2  – 2 cups cool water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. In a separate small bowl (or a 2-cup glass measuring cup), stir together 1 1/2 cups of cool water, the honey, and the olive oil. Pour over dry ingredients and begin to mix. Depending on how your dough looks, you may need to add a little more water.


After all the ingredients are combined, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. I also cover the bowl with a kitchen towel.

After 12 to 18 hours, the dough has risen, and is thick and bubbly and still does not resemble bread dough.

this batch sat for right at 18 hours before baking

Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface (I use a piece of parchment paper), where it will lie there, all flaccid and slug-like. Do not be scared.

lying there, being weird.

Knead it very gently for a minute or so, until it looks more like real bread dough. Form it into a loaf-shape, place into a greased loaf pan, and cover with plastic wrap.

there. that’s better.

Let the dough rise for 30-ish minutes.

after rising in the pan.

Place dough into pre-heated oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the internal temperature is between 190 and 200 degrees.

Be impressed with your bad self.

You just made homemade sandwich bread.

Let cool thoroughly (4+ hours) on a cooling rack for best slicing results.

Or just slather it with butter and eat it.

Click here for a printable version of No-Knead Sandwich Bread.