Monthly Archives: January 2013

Study Break

Hey folks,

I currently find myself swamped with deadlines and responsibilities at work. By the time I get home, sitting down at the computer to come up with a new blog post has begun to feel like another assignment and responsibility. So, I’m going to take a study break and spend sometime relaxing and hopefully find some excitement in blogging again.

Mary Beth

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Simple Lima Beans

Y’all, I feel a little silly posting this recipe. After all, it only calls for 4 ingredients. But this is hands-down my favorite way to prepare baby lima beans: the limas get to stand out, rather than being smothered in sauce, and they taste fresh and summery, even though they’re cooked from dry.

Simple Lima Beans

  • 1/2 pound dried baby lima beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf

(See? Only 4 ingredients!) Pick through and rinse dried beans. Then transfer to a pot, add the remaining ingredients then enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about an hour. Add additional water if needed. Drain, and serve with a splash of olive oil and additional salt if desired. Serves 4.

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Weekly Update: January 21

I don’t know about you guys, but my weekends are either jam packed with social activities or nothing at all. This weekend was one of the former and I managed to pack an awful lot into 48 hours. Friday night I went to one of my book clubs, where we discussed the book Gone Girl in all of 5 minutes before switching to Magic Mike, which oddly prompted a lot more discussion. I scurried off to catch the tail end of a wine and cheese with a group of classmates. Saturday morning I dragged myself up early to babysit then go into work (thrilling I know). Sunday I spent the whole day with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. After talking about it for 4 years (we met MLK weekend 2009!) we finally made it to the infamous farmers market under the freeway. This is not a fancy market, with pastries, coffee beverages and live entertainment, but dirt cheap local produce. For $4.50 I came away with 2 lbs of potatoes, 2 lbs of onions, 1 lb broccoli & 1 large bunch mustard greens. Then we went off to her house to cook it all up before more friends joined us for an afternoon of tasting her homebrewed beer and wine.

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Whole Wheat Bread

This week I was feeling a little lazy and never got around to feeding the starter for my half whole wheat sourdough, forcing me to bake a slightly more traditional loaf of whole wheat bread for my breakfasts. It’s a lot more like what you’d find in a supermarket: softer crust and slightly sweet. It’s also easily made in an evening or an afternoon, for same time bread enjoyment. I use brown sugar in this recipe because that’s what I always have on hand but feel free to substitute honey or molasses. Just keep in mind that you might have to adjust the liquid. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it. I know you’ll enjoy the way it makes your home smell.

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 tbsp oil or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, honey or molasses
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  1. Using a mixer with dough hook, food processor with dough blade or in a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients to form a shaggy dough (it’s totally ok if there’s still a little flour on the bottom).
  2. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Knead dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth, if still slightly sticky to touch.
  4. Cover the mixing bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Shape the dough into a log and transfer to a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 bread pan.
  6. Cover the dough with a greased sheet of plastic wrap and allow to rise for another hour, or until it has risen to about 2 inches over the rim of the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake bread for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack.

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The Budget Fast

I’m sure this will come as a surprise to you but I’m super pumped about my trip coming up in a few months. However there was some uncertainty about my funding for the next few months so I had to wait to buy the tickets until that was nailed down. Unfortunately that translated to a slightly more expensive ticket than I expected. I can still afford my hotel, trains, etc, but there’s less money than I had hoped for for things like museums or fine dining. As a result, I’ve decided to go on a budget fast in hopes of saving up for a nice meal or two and a few glasses of wine along the way. So far I’ve eliminated my contribution to house improvements, stepped my efforts at riding the bus, crossed off the unnecessary or splurge ingredients from my grocery list, and am attempting to dial back at eating out except for special occasions (like last week’s birthdays). Any other suggestions for me?

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Vegetable Soup for the Soul

Y’all, I feel a little silly sharing this recipe. I mean, it’s just vegetable soup, nothing fancy, right? But I love this soup. It is absolute comfort food to me. This makes an enormous batch, which I always freeze half of. When I feel a cold coming on, I pull out a quart of this soup. When a friend has the flu or just got out of surgery, I pull out a quart, bake or pick up a fresh loaf of bread and take it to them. The secret is allowing this to simmer for a long time so that the flavors become more than just some vegetables in broth. Anyways, with a raging flu season going on out there, I hope you enjoy it, despite the less than ideal picture.

Vegetable Soup

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Weekly Update: January 14

How was everybody’s weekends? Mine was nice and low key: I walked around town to run errands, took Falcor to Disneyland, aka the dog park, and watched some movies. I so rarely have weekends without plans that I so enjoyed just kicking back.

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