Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spazztastical Diamonds

I've got to admit that I'm a little bit impressed with my sticktoitivness in terms of blogging. I've been good recently. Pictures and words - at least once a week. That's relatively amazing considering my track record the last 2 years or so.Last night a cousin requested a chocolate cake recipe which would hold up to being stacked and frosted. Truth be told I can't say that I've got a foolproof one. So I gave him the best chocolate cake recipe I know of and this morning I decided to test it out. (Turns out that the Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe from The Kosher Palette is actually exactly the same as Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake.) However - I made a slight booboo and in my exuberance (of actually baking) I neglected to fold in the cup of boiling water that the recipe calls for. (Who puts that kind of random instruction all the way at the end of the recipe anyway?! Seriously!) By the time I realized my mistake, the cupcakes were in the oven. End of story: the cake turned out alright - aside from the fact that it sank in the center. It's light, fluffy and moist. Maybe next time I'll make it properly just to see what a difference the water makes...
Last night Z went into the bathroom and emerged with a friend. We named him 'super spike' and then set him free (out a window.) Do you see how big he is? He took up the whole bottom of a plastic cup! He was fast too - but Z was faster...
This is my artistic shot of an ice-block. I actually froze ice in a few small containers in preparation of making tomato sauce. Why would I need ice for tomato sauce you ask? Well, after last time I promised that I'd never make a huge batch of tomato sauce with the tomato skins on - ever again. The skins just kind of get gunky and gummy and rolls up into these chewy nasty little pieces. Suffice it to say, I don't like them at all! So I decided that when making large batches of tomato sauce (cause it freezes awesomely well) that I'd always peel my tomatoes. Easiest way to do that is blanching. How? slice an X in the bottom of your tomato, drop it into boiling water for about a minute, drop it into ice water for about a minute and ta-da - the peel slides riiiight off. Like magic! Anyway - that's why I made ice and that's why I've got a picture of a big ice-cube.
The tomato sauce process. From ripe red tomatoes, to saucy goodness. Titles for the pictures in the collage: whole tomatoes, slitted tomato, boiling tomatoes, blanched tomato - already peeling, the ice-bath apparatus, peeled tomatoes, the sauce cooking down, post-zhhzhhing, baked ziti.

The only ingredients that went into this sauce were onions, tomatoes, tomato paste (to thicken) and seasonings. I didn't even add water - Instead after blanching I seeded the tomatoes into a strainer (over a bowl), and added the collected tomato juice to the sauce. Cause I like my delicious sauce to be free of hard-little-tomato-seeds and chewy-skin-bits. Cause I'm picky. So there.

This batch of sauce filled 7 small containers - which is enough for 7 delicious meals involving tomato-sauce. From pizza to baked ziti...
I made baked ziti for lunch with 1 container because one of Z's classes was cancelled so he had a 2 hour break.

Today there's a really icky sandstorm blowing around outside. We've got the doors and windows closed because the dust-laden air is next to impossible to breathe.

We're going away for Shabbos but will have to sweep/wash the floor anyway to try and minimize the amount of dust that is in the apartment.

Exciting news - the wedding album process is underway. Hopefully tomorrow morning I'll go to the post office and send the photographer a CD of photos (which I chose last week) and by my birthday I'll finally have my photo album! I'm really excited! Really really excited!

One more load of laundry to do today and then that'll be that for the week. I'm a little sad that we won't be Home for Shabbos. It means that not only will I probably not get a shabbos nap, it also means that I've got to be 'dressed' for all of the weekend and I don't get flowers to keep me cheerful throughout the next week. It's also a little depressing to not have any work to do. I really look forward to Thursdays as my cooking days - because it means that I've got stuff to do. I also really love the smell of challah baking and Shabbos cooking. I can't help it. I'm just weird like that.

I guess I'll just watch a movie instead - since there's nothing for me to do and Z won't be Home from school for another 3.5 hours or so...

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