TV

Sleepy and a Recipe

I’ve been back to work for a few days now. The first day was ROUGH. I was absolutely, bone-tired exhausted. I forgot just how much surgery takes it out of you. It takes awhile to feel back to normal. I’m not quite there yet. I definitely needed a nap on Monday and wished I’d taken one on my lunch break! But I got to work and blinked and somehow it was 12:30 and I’d missed my morning break and it was already lunch time.

Thankfully I work from home on Wednesdays, so I was able to sleep in a bit before getting to work. I love my Wednesdays! I’m supposed to be clear to start doing cardio in a few days. Part of me misses it and is it ready to get back to it. And part of me really wants to just sleep. LOL. We’ll see how I feel in a few days!

In other news, I’ve finished a few books but not enough to do a book update. Soon! I’ve been watching a lot of TV on my time off for my surgery. I finally got caught up on some shows that I had fallen behind on (I never have time for TV). I am currently working my way through season 3 of Outlander. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s actually really good. I love historical period books/shows so it’s right up my alley. I read the first few books in the series but then quit. But I do love the TV show.

I wanted to share a recipe that I sort of created that was really good. I adapted it from two different recipes but based it on this recipe Zucchini Pasta with Chicken & Pistachios. I made some adjustments to make it keto-friendly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • minced garlic (I used 3 medium sized cloves)
  • minced mint leaves (about 7 leaves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • Boneless, skinless chicken (I used chicken thighs)
  • Zoodles (We used 3 small zucchinis to make the zoodles)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped green onion for garnish

Make the zoodles (We used our Kitchenaid Mixer attachment, which is AMAZING, for making zoodles). Set aside. Chop the chicken into small, bite size pieces. Cook the chicken in a skillet with ghee, salt and pepper. Then in another skillet, cook the zoodles in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan, add the garlic. Add the heavy cream, stirring constantly. Add the mint and lemon juice. Stir constantly. Then mix the chicken, sauce and zoodles all together in one skillet.

Divide into pasta bowls, top with chopped pistachios and green onion as garnish.

It turned out really well! I liked it a lot and would definitely make this recipe again. I like the flavor and texture combos. I think next time I would use salted pistachios (I only had unsalted). I loved the sauce. The mint was a really nice, unusual flavor. It all worked really well!

Sourdough

Who knew sourdough bread was so hard??? I’ve tried it about half a dozen times or more since the first time I tried it. The first time I tried it, it was flat. The second time the dough didn’t rise for some reason. One time it didn’t look very good but it had the right sour flavor. Then another time it looked great and had the right flavor but it was a little underdone. I’ve baked it in my dutch oven and on our baking stone, with varied results.

I keep trying and reading and trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Recently I did another loaf and tried a different baking method. This is the method I used this time:

The result was pretty good. The rise was nice, there was a great color, the crust was crunchy, it was baked well (maybe slightly overdone) but not sour. UGH! So frustrating. But it did LOOK pretty:

I talked to a friend who does sourdough on the regular and she said that she puts the starter on her counter the day before and feeds it twice, once the morning before she makes it, then again that night. She said that will make it more sour. So next time, I’m going to try doing it that way and see what happens.

This week I tried again and did a few things differently. First, I weighed the flour when I made the dough and used grams instead of measuring cups. Second, I took my friend’s advice and took the starter out the day before, fed it twice and then made the dough the next morning. Third, I followed the new baking instructions.

The result was great! The bread was a little on the light side color-wise but the inside was fantastic! It was the best loaf I’ve made so far. It didn’t have a super strong sour flavor but the bread was light and airy and fluffy instead of being dense. I was really, really happy with the results.

For dinner, I made tomato bisque and we had the freshly baked bread with it. Fantastic!

On a similar note, I’ve been obsessed with the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. It never appealed to me but for some reason I saw a random episode of the new season and I decided to start at the beginning. I loved it! That first season was great and had some really good bakers.

I also love that you learn a lot from the show. They make stuff I’ve never heard of before and it’s interesting to see the methods. I also like that they do a bread episode each season! Listening to the judges critique the breads has been helpful for me recognizing some of the mistakes I’ve been making (not letting it proof long enough, not kneading it enough, etc). Also, it’s nice to watch the show while I wait for Top Chef to come back!

QUESTION: Are you a sourdough baker? Any tips or favorite recipes?