Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pregnancy Wonders & Woes


Okay, so, fortunately I don't have that many negative side effects going on, and I have a lot of pleasant "side effects" that help to counter-balance them.
I love having a living person inside of me...however uncomfortable he or she is making it in there! The perpetual little kicks and wriggles continually remind me of the new little person that will shortly be on the outside where we can cuddle and kiss him or her...

Who are you in there?

On the not-so-fun side of things, I'm dealing with a lot of nasty heartburn already...and I still have 10 weeks for it to get progressively worse! Bleh.
The problem with heartburn in late pregnancy...you're supposed to prop yourself up at night to help, right? But you can't lay on your back, so you end up in a very awkward position that often leaves you with a neck-ache and screaming hips in the morning. I think I might end up in the rocking chair or on the couch for the latter part of this pregnancy. :-/

I know many of you moms have dealt with this...do you have any clever solutions or ideas for dealing with heartburn?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


And the winner is...

Amanda Evans!

Yay! I know for a fact that you're going to enjoy this book! :-D

It's on its way, and should be there by Monday! Congratulations!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Last Day to Enter the Giveaway!

My giveaway ends today! Head on over and enter if you haven't yet!

I have one more post on my experiences up-to-date with my Artisan bread...and then I'll shut up about it, I promise. This isn't actually an Artisan-Bread-in-Five-Minutes-a-Day-blog, contrary to what it may seem...

Firstly...check out my latest pita! YAY! I finally got it to puff properly!

The secret was to press/roll out the dough as much as you could, (probably to about half the eventual size,) and then leave it for 5 or more minutes to relax, then come back and, (using plenty of flour to prevent sticking,) roll it out to as thin and uniform as you can, about 1/8 inch.
Loving my pita. :-)

And...I tried pizza last night!

I used the exact same dough from the book that I've been using for everything else.
They have a dough that they more specifically recommend for pizza, foccacia, etc. that has olive oil in it as well. I want to try that sometime, but since I already had a big batch of my regular dough in the fridge and don't really have the containers or fridge space to have more than one dough going at a time, I'll just do it this way for now.

I rolled it out onto parchment paper since I have absolutely no confidence that I could successfully slide a loaded raw pizza off my little cutting board onto a super-hot baking stone without encountering great disaster.
I used the pictured pizza pan to roll it out on to help me gauge the right size and to help me get it to the baking stone.

Before my sister-in-law, Katelyn, so cleverly suggested this parchment paper plan, I had always just made my pizzas directly on the cold baking stone...which made for a less-than-ideal crust.
I LOVED how this one turned out! Besides getting to use my easy-peasy dough, (and not having to start it rising 2 hours before I wanted my pizza!) it turned out deliciously crisp because of being baked on the already-hot stone!
Bless you, Katelyn!

Anyhoo...someday I will try the olive oil recipe in the book, but, man it was sure good just like this!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Too much of a good thing...?

During pregnancy, I become super-sensitive to caffeine. A full cup of regular coffee makes me jittery and scatter-brained and feeling kinda ill all day. No fun. Especially since I am a coffee lover. Not 'cause I need it. 'Cause I love it.

Know what else I love? Dark chocolate.
Apparently, in my current state, dark chocolate contains too much caffeine also! NOOOooooo!
I ate about 1/3 of this bar (which, by the way, is AWESOME!) the other afternoon, and then hardly got a wink of sleep all night.

A couple days later, I ate some more...and didn't sleep again.

I finished it off the next day...and didn't sleep.

I think I finally put two and two together...

So here we have two options:

a.) Eat chocolate -> Don't sleep

b.) Don't eat chocolate -> Do sleep

Unfortunately, I must choose option B.

Alas. Alack.

Sweet chocolate...fare thee well! We'll have a reunion in about 3 months.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Making Pita Bread with Artisan Dough

I finally tried the pita bread from my Artisan Bread cookbook. (Don't forget to enter the giveaway!) It was a success! Though not nearly as perfect and beautiful as the photos, (yet!) John raved about it and said it was exactly what he was hoping for! Yes!
You can check out the tutorial on the Artisan Bread website here, where it turns out perfect and beautiful, or you can see how it turns out here in real life on a trial run!

My prepped work space.
Note my monstrous dough tub. It's rather a burden on my already-bursting fridge.
I'm hoping to get some from Amazon like this soon:

...although, $21.99 for two plastic tubs seems spendy to me...
I've looked into other options and found cheaper, but not knowing if they're long-term food-safe and such, I think I will go with these, which are particularly recommended for uses such as dough-keeping.
Gotta pile up those Swagbucks! :-)

Start with a smallish blop of dough...
You can make them bigger, but since my "pizza peel" is the bamboo cutting board pictured, I have limited space, so I kept 'em little.
Since they only take about 7 minutes to bake anyway, it's not a big deal to do several.

Roll and stretch it out as thin as you can...the recipe says 1/8th inch.
I'm not sure how this is humanly possible.
The recipe says if you have trouble with it bouncing back to just let it sit for a bit and the dough will relax...I should experiment more with that next time.
I also think a heavier rolling pin would be useful.
Like that lovely marble one my mama has...

Slide it onto your hot baking stone, (have it heating at 500 degrees for 20 minutes before you start the rolling out process.)

And bake for 7-8 minutes until very lightly browned.
As you can see mine looks much different than theirs at this point...

But mine still managed to taste good, and I have plenty of chances to practice!

UPDATE: Mine DOES look like theirs now!

Wrap it in a kitchen towel as soon as you take it out of the oven to keep the pita soft and deflated.

My little stack of softening pitas!

I loved how easy and quick these were to make! Since they are the sort of thing that is best eaten very fresh, it's especially wonderful to be able to whip 'em out so quickly. You could have a couple nice little pitas ready just a little more than a half hour after the mood strikes you (or your husband.)

I made them again the very next day and we've been eating them off and on ever since!
I filled a fresh one with tuna for my lunch the other day...delish!

I also want to point out that, although you may not have all the perfect, recommended equipment, you can still pull off a very satisfactory result! Don't let the lack of an ideal dough tub, pizza peel or rolling pin to stop you!

Sometimes I paralyze myself from trying new things because I don't have the perfect or ideal equipment and circumstances to do it exactly as "they" did. More and more, I am purposing to not let this stop me from being adventurous! Don't let it stop you!

Mama Chocolate: August 2010

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