Life goes on, and I continue to find delicious things to make with my sourdough starter.
The problem is, there are only two of us, and we only eat so much bread. We have taken what opportunities we can to give food away to people. The problem is, we're still really new here and we just plain don't know that many people to give stuff to.
The good news is, sourdough starter isn't only good for bread! These are a few things I tried making that were not bread, and they turned out amazing. I will definitely be re-visiting these recipes in the future.
Sourdough batter for Fish 'n Chips or Onion Rings
My inspiration was found here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12550/sourdough-onion-rings
The first time I tried this I made home made Fish 'n Chips and, man, were they good. Then just the other day, I made home made onion rings. They were amazing, again.
I made one major change to the recipe as given in the link above. (Well, aside from not really measuring anything, but then again, I hardly ever do.) I did not use soda water in my batter. It's just not something I keep around, and not something I wanted to buy just for one recipe. Instead, I thinned out the starter with water until it looked about the consistency of cake batter and threw in a tiny bit of baking soda. The batter fried up beautifully, it was fluffy and crunchy and amazing.
In fact, it was so amazing that neither time that I used this recipe did I pause long enough between bites to snap a picture of the food. But this is definitely something I'll be trying again, so maybe next time.
Another fun thing we did with our onion rings was do a sort of mix-your-own-sauce buffet. We got out everything in the fridge or cupboards that might taste nice and mixed up our own sauce. Mine was mostly ketchup, with some Worcestershire sause, lemon juice, seasoned salt, and a dash of cayenne. Mr. Perkins did ketchup and mayonnaise with Worcestershire sauce and Creole seasoning. We both thought ours was the best.
I first tried beignets when my parents brought a mix home after a trip to New Orleans. They're in the same family as Utah/Mormon Scones, Navajo Fry Bread, or Fried Dough. The main thing that sets beignets apart would be that they have a little bit more sugar, and therefore get a little bit more brown when you fry them.
Nobody would be surprised to know that I have been finding ALL the delicious-looking sourdough recipes I can recently. I stumbled across the Sourdough Surprises blog, which gives bakers a category to make something each month with their starter. This month it was beignets.
Take a look at these beauties. And believe you me, they tasted as good as they looked. Instead of the classic powdered sugar, we topped them with coconut creme (our new favorite sweet topping) and didn't feel bad about it one bit.
I got my recipe from here: http://benstarr.com/recipes/sourdough-beignets/
And good news for you non-sourdough people out there--it also gives instructions for making them without a starter, if you wish. They won't have the sourdough tang, but they'll still be dang good.
Rich, sweet, and tangy. Soooooo good.
This is where I got my recipe: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/sourdough-brownies/
I didn't have bittersweet chocolate, so I used milk chocolate and reduced the sugar. It turned out just great.
And yes, the recipe uses grams instead of cups.
So if you really want to try them I can tell you this much: most chocolate packages will have grams right next to the ounces. My package of chocolate chips was 326 grams, so I ended up using most of the package. 2 cubes of butter weighed in at just under 226 grams (no wonder these were so rich ;-), so I added a little scoop of coconut oil to make up the difference, which probably wasn't even necessary. There are online calculators that can help you to convert the measurements of the other ingredients.
So there you have it. Our favorite non-bread sourdough recipes.
Meanwhile, there are still only just two of us, and I still bake a whole lot of bread with my starter. So I'm now looking for recipes using old bread or breadcrumbs, and I'll do a roundup of those when I've found some I like.
Going from taking AP art two years in a row in High School, to majoring in Illustration, to working full time as an Illustrator, to working full time from home has been wonderful in many ways. I have progressed so much and learned so many things that I wouldn't have if I hadn't made art the focus of my education.
We're stopping that right there, because that was about to get really sappy.
But one problem with this has been that I've had a hard time finding to do art just for me, a project answering to nobody but myself.
In the last several years, I can only think of one project I ever completed that was just for me.
The concept evolved as I created the art. Eventually it came to this: I wanted to create four images, one for each season of the year. Each would depict animals and plants that I had seen in my own backyard growing up.
I'm still pleased looking back on this project. It isn't perfect, but I succeeded in creating something I liked. And the interesting thing is, I think more other people have liked this project than any of the others, and I've sold a bunch of prints, both of the pieces individually and together.
So there might be something to this whole work-for-yourself thing.
So this Art Challenge thing has been going around for awhile now, so I knew it was only a matter of time. The basic concept is, over 5 days you post 3 pieces of art per day and nominate someone to do the same. So obviously it keeps growing as more and more people get nominated.
So have an admission to make. After seeing so many of these go past my news feed, I don't remember who has been nominated and who hasn't. (I do remember seeing a whole lot of great art. I remember pictures so much better than I do words.) So if you haven't been nominated and would like to be, let me know. Otherwise, I'm gonna just post some art and let it be. I don't want to be a spoil sport, but I also don't want to make someone do it all over again. So if you want to, let me know.
So for the first day, I'm posting some ambigrams--words that can be read from more than one direction. If you can, turn your screen upside-down. Or you can just take my word for it that they're exactly the same both ways. Cool, no?
This is an appropriate one for Sunday because I used to always doodle words I heard in talks or lessons and turn them into ambigrams, so nearly all of the ambigrams that I've made are church-related. And I have a hard time choosing just a few, so here are a bunch.
I tell you what, Valentines better come soon, because then I can tell my brain that it can STOP thinking up ways to make things with hearts.
Another week to go, I guess. Ah, well. I'll survive.
I guess my brain was saving the simplest stuff for last, because this one is really easy. I didn't even bother to take pictures to make instructions. OK fine, thats mostly because right now I'm lazy, but also because you don't need them.
Ok, here goes nuthin'. Super simple-yet-cool-looking DIY centerpiece decoration thing for valentines. Because why not.
And I even made a little template. You can do this with any kind of heart, though. Or actually with any shape your little heart desires. (See what I did there? Haha. Ok, lame joke. Moving on.)
Also! This concept is super versatile, and not just in the shape you use. As long as you cut at least three pieces, you're good. I did four because... I like squares? It just seemed like a nice, even number. I guess you could even do it with two, if you made it go around something fairly narrow. Like one of those little vases you put a single rose in or something. Or on the rod things that hold up stair banisters. Which technically wouldn't be a centerpiece anymore, but I guess thats my point. You can use this in so many ways!
Ok I'll stop talking now and just give you the dang template for the Valentine Centerpiece. In case you wanted it. Because maybe you were thinking of doing your own thing instead.
Take a look at the photo above to get an idea of what we're doing here.
All you need to do is find a slit that faces down, and slide it over a slit that faces up. Make sure you slide the slits all the way together, to the end of each slit. Do this until you have all your pieces are linked together. Once all your pieces are linked together, link the ends together the same way. Do a little pushing, pulling, and nudging to get your pieces to stand just how you'd like them to.
This would be really easy to jazz up in simple was. Maybe try letting kids draw on the hearts first. Or you could try gluing doilies or other lightweight valentines decorations on the hearts. Maybe some paper flowers. Maybe put a vase in the center full of roses.
Or you could just say you're going for the simple look and leave the hearts as-is. They do pretty well on their own.
Ta-da! Easy centerpiece!
This conversation actually happened. Well, I didn't memorize the exact words, but this is the essence.
I guess we're weird, but instead of normal endearments like "honey" or "sweetie" or "love" whatever it is that people call each other, we use "Mr./Mrs. Perkins".
And we also have lots of weird playful conversations, most of which make even less sense than this one.
It was Mr. Perkins's idea to have us drinking tea with our pinkies up. I showed him the drawing and said,
"Look, I gave you sideburns!"
"I wish I could grow sideburns," was his response.
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