Simple Sunday

Perfect fall weather. The mornings are cool and days get warm. We still haven’t had any outdoor fires in the fire pit because of fire danger. We need some rain to do that.

Not now:(

Our walks are stress free since we’re the only ones there that early. The stars have been spectacular. Venus is very bright and Mars is quite red. We we’re leaving at 6 and the first person showed up so hopefully we can maintain this schedule. Frankly, it’s worth it to be out the door just a little earlier. As I said to B this morning, we can do it now but who knows the future. A year from now? or when I start Velcade? I may not be up to it so we might as well do this while we can.

This week is the Living room zone if you follow Flylady. I did ours including window washing. I need to do the outside windows this coming week. I try and do them each quarter. I use the outside bottle of windex that attaches to a hose. It works quite well.

Today is a mellow day without too much on the docket. I’m planning on soup for dinner with salad. Yesterday I prepped 15 baked potatoes( Costco, big bag) for double stuffed potatoes. That’s 30 halves. But when you pile it on you do get less. So I ended up with 20 halves. I left 4 out and froze the rest. The potatoes were really nice so if you’re in Costco, that’s a good buy. I guessing that’s because the harvest is happening in Idaho. Plus the value is incredible. 15 lbs of bakers for $5.69. I think down at the Holiday they are .99 a pound right now. Also, double stuffed potatoes freeze beautifully.

This coming week has some appts. I have a dental cleaning and we are tentatively going to Ikea to get 2 chairs for the sunporch. We’ll see. It depends how the week shapes up and my mood. The pantry from Ikea is still unavailable so that won’t be happening. But Ikea is fun and affordable.

Tartine Bread

I’m back in the swing of things with bread making. So, the last loaf of a sourdough but it wasn’t the dough that rests and goes thru the full autolyse and bulk fermentation.  I decided to get out my Tartine Bread book which by the way reads like a chemistry class. It is quite challenging to read and follow, but I persevered thru and made the loaves.  It’s anywhere from a 2-day process to 5 days depending on if you already have a starter.  It is an amazing bread and well worth the effort.

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It tasted terrific. The recipe makes 2 loaves so I waited to bake the 2nd one today and then my oven wasn’t cooperating.  This has been going on for a while where it won’t calibrate the temperature.  It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it’s frustrating. So I turned the oven on and off for 3 hours and then finally it was coming up to speed. For the Tartine bread, it needs to be at 500 degrees for 30 minutes with the Le Cruset in the oven.  Finally got it to work and the second loaf is done. Now I’m in the process of baking 12 huge potatoes for double stuffed potatoes that I’ll freeze.  When you’re cooking that many potatoes it takes twice as long.

 

So I guess we’re going to go buy an oven this weekend. Not frugal, but I cook so much it’s hard to be without a reliable oven.  This one was a lovely GE profile that ( if I remember was @ 1200).  I found a nice Whirlpool one on sale at Lowes for 650.  It’s normally 1000 so a good deal. As long as it’s self-cleaning and has sealed burners, I’m good.

I’m  really trying to keep things as frugal as possible so, we’ll see.

 

 

Double stuffed potatoes….

If you shop at Costco, one of the best deals they have is their bag of russet potatoes. It’s a huge bag and the potatoes are always nice looking.  I have bought bags at Safeway only to throw 1/2 away because they have turned green or are sprouting. I’ve never had that problem with Costco’s potatoes.

This is a great freezer item and I keep them wrapped in foil and then in a gallon freezer bag. I also get the large sour cream at Costco and a block of Tillamook cheese. Plus I buy my butter there too, so overall these are great savings. I think the sour cream is like $ 4. something and it’s huge. At the store, the pint of sour cream can be 3.99.

img_0493 So first I bake as many potatoes as I think I need. In this case, I did the entire bag, so it was 15 very large russets. I put the oven on for at least 2 hours as with that number of potatoes it takes longer.

Then I let them cool img_0494some and then cut in half.

Then to the potato mixture, I add butter(lots) sour cream ( lots), and grated cheese. Then I mix together and start heaping back in the potato halves. img_0495

I heap it quite full and mound it over the top, so I get fewer halves than I baked. So from this batch, I ended up with 15 halves. The other halves go to the chickens.

Then I wrap in foil and bag in the freezer bag. img_0496

To use, I pull them out of the freezer a few hours before I bake but usually, I forget so I just pop them in the oven. I like to do a potato bar with green onions, bacon, more butter, and more sour cream. Sometimes that is the whole dinner with a green salad.

If you looking for some batch cooking ideas this one works great for us.