We just had a crazy heat wave where Oakland and Berkeley were 95 degrees. It was terrible really but we ended up eating dinner for two nights outside in Lakeside park which felt much cooler than our apartment. I felt relaxed spending the evening after work outdoors sprawled out on a blanket under the trees despite the warm temps.
Sunday pizza night was almost cancelled but I persevered. I will certainly have to come up with some hot weather dinner options. This is something I have to research because my first thought is eat out in an air conditioned restaurant but that may not be sustainable if we have a summer. Monday we ate tuna sandwiches and Tuesday we got Whole Foods salad bar. Maybe pre-made food is the way to go. Pre-cooked and ready to take to Lakeside park.
Part of our ongoing plan to reduce plastic is to make more food at home. Over the past month I have been pretty successful at making most of our bread, muffins, tortillas and pizza dough although we do occasionally buy bread and rolls from the bakery as well. It is a nice treat, especially when it is challah, bagels, or tasty gourmet bread like olive that is not yet part of my repertoire.
For bread I have been making a (new to me) recipe that cooks two loaves in bread pans and they most resemble the sliced bread we would buy. It uses six cups of flour and two cups of milk so I make them when the ingredients are plentiful. It seems the first loaf out of the oven is devoured straight away with goat butter and jam. The next goes into a bag for slicing and eating for the next couple of days. I found the recipe documented by Rachael Ringenberg posted on Hither and Tither’s blog here. Another recipe that I like and have posted about before is the no knead bread recipe by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery. It is his pizza dough recipe that I turned to because it is a similar process that has a lower yeast and a longer ferment time.
We chose a tortilla maker from Amazon after researching tortilla presses. The electric cast iron model seemed like the one that would best fit our needs. It is heavy duty and makes great tortillas. The recipe that we use is basic and came with the press. We like using olive oil instead of shortening or lard and the tortillas have a buttery flavor from the California olive oil.
Not having as much bread around has inspired me to bake more muffins. They usually come about after we have made oatmeal and turn the leftover cooked oats into these muffins. I came across the recipe first at the Coffee in the Woodshed blog and then read pretty much the same version at Orangette. I have modified the recipe a bit, using less flour and sugar and adding all kinds of fruit and spices. This muffin tin below has quinoa muffins made with the same principles. I added cherries and mini chocolate chips. ^_^