Fancy Breakfast Friday: Dutch Baby

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This isn’t a recipe for a crowd, or I suppose it could serve more people if it was just one of many items being service for breakfast.  I made it on a day that Dave was going into the office, so he missed out. Jack and I both ate a a fourth, and Luke ate half.  It was delicious.  I’m sure I served bacon and fruit with it, but I can barely remember.

I followed this recipe from the New York Times, and it was amazing.  If you were stressed about the butter, you could maybe cut it in half. I was surprised at how much melted butter was just resting on top of the dutch baby when it came out of the oven.

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I covered the butter in cinnamon and sugar, and that was delicious.

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This was the start of a marathon baking week.  I made cookies for Jack’s class, then I baked a Game of Thrones cake for his birthday.  Then I made FBF today, and we are having a recital at our house tonight, so that will be dinner for 13. That just leaves one more cake to bake for Jack’s birthday party.  And then I can just relax until… wait is Thanksgiving next week?

 

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Khachapuri

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I was flipping through Food and Wine recently and I saw this picture:

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There wasn’t a recipe, just a reference to the Walnut Street Cafe in Philadelphia.  So I googled Khachapuri and read a bunch of different recipes, and then just decided to wing it.  It kind of reminded me of the breakfast pizza I tried to make a while ago, with terrible results.  But the shape seemed promising. The idea with khachapuri, is that you have a bread boat full of cheese and a lightly cooked egg.  You tear off bits of crust and dip it in the melted cheese and yolk.  Sounded like a perfect breakfast.

I made my normal pizza recipe, but I subbed milk for water, and added two tablespoons of butter.  Then I let it rise in the fridge over night.  In the morning I let the dough sort of warm up while the oven preheated, and then I rolled up the boats and added cheese.  I just used mozzarella because I decided to make this after dinner on Thursday night, and I didn’t want to go to the store for fancier cheese.  (Also, I am boycotting our normal grocery store because the remodel was causing me to experience anxiety every time I went, which was about two times a day.  In my new, post grocery store life, I am happy and calm.  I’m shopping elsewhere, at Costco and Lucky’s.  Lucky’s serves $2 pints and has some carts with a beverage holder.  The opposite of anxiety inducing! They also don’t really have a lot of food, and what they do have is kinda expensive.  And I accidentally bought decaf coffee there, but after two days of severe headaches, I figured it out. $2 pints!!)

The khachapuri bakes at 500 for about 15 minutes and then you add the egg and cook it for 4 minutes more.  I couldn’t decide if I was going to add the egg at all until the very last second, but I did, and I’m glad, because it was so delicious.  Only one egg slid out of the boat, but I got it back in there quickly with the yolk intact.

Everyone thought they were delicious.  The boys couldn’t finish theirs so I said to eat the messy part and then I put it in a tupperware for lunch or snack. Luke at he rest of his, but Jack forgot about his, and somehow his tupperware ended up back in the cabinet, and I found half a khachapuri in there 4 days later.

Other than that, huge success!  A bit ambitious for a school morning though.

 

Fancy Breakfast Friday:Breakfast Enchiladas

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Have you ever watched one of those food videos on Facebook where they cook something beautifully on fast forward and you think, “Yum, and that’s so pretty!!!” Sure, of course you have.  But have you ever, then, followed the recipe? Is anyone going to make those fancy pie crusts for Thanksgiving?  I mean, I would love to… but my crust isn’t so perfectly easy to manipulate.  I know that would be a literal recipe for disaster and a #nailedit photo.  Plus I’m currently all out of doilies.  (That is a sentence I said last night when I was explaining why I brought a cake to a potluck in a cake carrier that wasn’t the cake carrier my friend gave me. I knew I’d see her, and if only I had put the cake on a doily I could have more easily transferred it to the pretty cake carrier when I remembered I was going to see her.)  (If you are wondering why I brought up doilies, it’s because in the pie crust tutorial, you roll your crust out on a doily to get a cool pattern.)

Any who, last week I saw a cute video about breakfast enchiladas on Facebook and it inspired me. This recipe is very customizable. The night before I made bacon, and I boiled cubed potatoes.  I filled the tortillas with bacon, potatoes, cheddar, mozzarella, and scallions.  I sautéed peppers but I served them on the side for picky eaters.  I rolled the enchiladas and I think I fit 10 in a 9×12 pan.  Then I whisked 6 eggs, and a cup of milk* and a tablespoon of flour with some salt and pepper.  I poured that over the tortillas and put the casserole in the fridge over night.  In the morning I baked it at 400, which may have been too high, but whatever.

They were good.  I served them with sour cream and salsa. I feel like they would have been better with beans, and salsa mixed in.  They were a little dry and bland to be honest, but they felt pretty nourishing for a breakfast.

I’m trying something super complicated this week, and I’m already wishing I had some easy casserole in the oven and my feet up.  Stay tuned!

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Swedish Sweet Pretzels

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The full name of this recipe, from Food and Wine is Swedish Sugared Sweet Pretzels, which seems excessive and redundant.  Call the D.R. Department, as I used to say. (Department of Redundancy Department… I’m sure you got that, I’m just being…redundant.)  Anyway – these were really pretty, and everyone liked them.  Well everyone except for me.  I thought they were a little bland and kind of tasted like I could have made them out of pillsbury dough which would have taken significantly less time.  I asked Dave if he was sure he didn’t taste any pillsbury dough flavor and he said, “Maybe I enjoy the taste of pillsbury dough.” I think after all these Fancy Breakfasts my palate is getting more sophisticated.  These pretzels have baking powder, presumably so you can make them in 2.5 hours instead of 5 or so.  But since I was letting them rest overnight in the fridge that was unnecessary.  Now I want to remake them with a better dough recipe.  But if I am going to do that… it seems like I should just make the chocolate chips pretzelschocolate chips pretzels because: chocolate.

(At least I think everyone liked them.  I sent 4 off with Luke to Eagle to the State Championship mountain bike race and I didn’t get any reports back from that crew.  Well Luke said they were good.  I did get high praise  for my pumpkin muffins at the cyclocross bake sale on Saturday, so all the baking last week was worth it.)

This week I am going savory, and the kitchen smells so oniony.  I love onions but no one else does so this should be interesting.

 

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Chocolate Babka

We have a little saying in our house that goes like this: Whatever Jack wants, Jack gets. Jack wanted Chocolate Babka, so that’s what I made for FBF last week. The good news is that I used this recipe, from Smitten Kitchen, which was 1000 times easier than the one I used last time.  However, it was only 90% as good.  So now I am wondering if I should try to take the best parts from each and combine them.  Seems risky and complicated.

I shouldn’t even post that picture of the bread because it makes it look a little under done on the inside.  The judges on The British Baking Show (or whatever its called) would not fully approve.

I thought it was very good and very easy to make, and Jack felt like he didn’t get a fair amount of servings, so I will probably make it again soon.  I’m in the midst of a baking signup perfect storm where I had to make FBF this morning, followed by muffins for a bake sale tomorrow, and cookies for a mountain bike race on Sunday.  Hopefully I won’t burn out and going into another Fancy Breakfast Friday dry spell that’s just full of waffles.  Fall FBF is the best FBF.

 

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Granola Bars

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I made granola bars again.  I’m not sure why I am so into granola bars, but I am.  I wish I could tell you how to make these, but they are 95% this recipe (but with peanut butter) and 5% this recipe (millet).  I served them with bacon and eggs and the boys seemed to love them.  I think I planned to take them camping, but I forgot to pack them (along with the butter, coffee and various snacks). They did come in handy as an afternoon snack mid-week when we were completely out of food.  In other news, there are 4 left and it’s been a week.  I can’t tell if this means they aren’t that great or, since I am storing them in the fridge, it’s an out of sight out of mind situation.   Luke seems to love them when they are offered. He doesn’t seek them out.

Granola bars aren’t super photogenic, and the lighting in my house is not ideal, especially after dinner on a Thursday night.  I decided to photograph them with a stack of books because it’s been a while since I did that and… I am about to reach an exciting book milestone.  The Boulder Library does an optional reading history which I LOVE. It’s a list of all the books I have checked out since October 1, 2005.  I looked at it this morning and I was at 988.  Then I checked out two more books and I am still at 988 so I am not 100% sure how it works, maybe there is some batch process that runs at night?  Regardless, I think something exciting should happen when I hit 1000.  Maybe I could plan an entire day of drinking coffee while lying in the couch, reading.  Or, I could read at a fancy coffee shop, or maybe even at a bar.  Obviously reading would have to be a part of it.  Maybe I’ll also pay off my fine.  I know, it sounds so exciting!!  The real question is – should I plan to check out a special book for my 1000th book? Or just let it be random? What book should I check out?  10 or 12 books to go, will I reach 1000 before the end of the year? That picture up there doesn’t even show all the books I have currently checked out, so I think I’ll make it.

Moto Z – Making the Switch from Iphone to Android

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Disclaimer – I was given this phone.  All opinions are my own.

I was recently vacationing with a friend who works with Motorola and has a Moto Z phone. I mentioned that I would love to see if I could make the transition from iPhone to Android and then write about it, wink-wink, hint-hint.

At the time, my poor, deprived teen had an iPhone 5c.  It was fine.  He could make calls, check email, and update Instagram.  But with only 5G of storage, he couldn’t really take photos, or download any more fun apps.  He wanted to add Training Peaks and Strava for cycling, and I am sure he wanted to add some games too.  He didn’t need a new phone, but he wanted one.  So I suggested that my friend send me one of the new shatterproof Motorolas.  She didn’t have one lying around, so she sent me the Moto Z – The World’s Thinnest Premium Smartphone.  A very cool thing about the Moto Z phones are the mod’s that go with them, and she sent me the projector and the speakers.  That’s when I decided that I was the one getting the new phone, and my teenager could consider himself lucky to inherit my rose gold iPhone SE.

Setup

 I spent about a day doing setup, and a couple weeks getting used to how it worked.  Now that I have had the phone for a couple months I feel confident in talking about what I love, and what challenges I have faced and overcome, or learned to deal with.  I’ll walk you through the setup, and the iPhone to Android transition process.

The first thing I did was to set up my Moto Z while I was still using the IPhone, so I could see what I might have missed.  I installed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TeamSnap, Strava, Netflix, my banking apps, my shopping apps, Pandora, Amazon Music and the app for my gym.  For all these apps, all I had to do was go to the Google Play Store, download the app and login with my username and password. Easy! The only challenge with this part of the transition is remembering passwords. I decided it was time to start using a password app and I picked LastPass. To login to Lastpass, I use my fingerprint, so I don’t have to remember a password.

Next, I added my work email, and this is where I met my first challenge.  My personal email (gmail) was added as part of the initial setup.  As I added my work email, I got an error that I would need to download a certificate.  That was not something I knew anything about, but I Googled how to do it, and it was easy.  I had to download an app from the Play Store and that created a certificate.  This was where I wondered if the average person on the street could overcome this problem.  (As I later learned, there is a desktop support person at my job who can help with this – the average person would probably know to ask their desktop support person for help.)

While I was installing all my apps, I was also getting used to using the phone, especially the camera.  My favorite thing about the phone is that a quick twist of the wrist opens the camera app.  Perfect for when you need to take a picture of the dog doing something silly *that instant* without having to unlock your phone and find the camera app.  I love this feature. The camera is great, the only thing I was going to say that I miss from the iPhone is the slo-mo video, but I just did some fact checking, and it does have slow motion! (My fact checking was to hand my phone to my 9 year old and ask him to figure it out, and he did.  I’m officially old.)

Once I had my work email and my fun apps installed, I was ready to make the switch.  I thought I could maybe switch the sim card out myself and did some reading about it, but in the end, the sim card in my old phone was not the same size.  I went to the AT&T store to make the switch and they did it for me in about 15 minutes.

Music

 My biggest fears with moving to an Android was losing access to all my music and managing my podcasts. I was also worried that the phone might be too big. The Moto Z is a lot larger that the iPhone SE, but comparable to the iPhone 6.  I solved the size issue by adding a PopSocket to the case so that it was easier for me to hold it in my hand.  In a worst-case scenario, I figured going back to my old iPod nano could solve the music and podcast issue.  I just couldn’t see using this big phone at the gym.  But I decided to try to figure it out anyway, because, let’s face it; this is the main stumbling block in switching from iPhone to Android.  How could I possibly ever make the switch when all my music is in iTunes?  And I am not just talking about all the digital music I bought in the last 20 years, I mean the CDs I imported and then lost, or gave away.  Everything!  As much as I frequently use Pandora, or Amazon Music, I still want to make playlists out of my own music library.

I was a little worried and overwhelmed about how to do it. I’ll spare you the long story about the Googling, reading, and research I did and let you know that it’s actually really easy.  The method I chose was to transfer my music to Google Music.  You can upload up to 50,000 songs for free, and since I didn’t know how many songs we have, and I didn’t know if I wanted access to them all… I just made 10 Google music playlists out of my favorite albums and iTunes playlists and transferred those.  Done.  It took about 15 minutes. It was so easy, it was kind of a letdown.  I thought I would have to become a hacker, or learn how to use the SSD card on my Moto Z.  Since the initial upload, I realized I only have about 3,000 songs, so I went ahead and uploaded the whole library.

The last thing I did was to buy an app to manage my podcasts.  I wanted to try to use Google Play, which is free, for a while and it worked to play podcasts, but it didn’t seem to have everything I wanted in a podcast app.  Before I discovered podcasts, I did chores somewhat bitterly in order to not live in a hellhole. Now my chores are an interesting way to stay busy while I listen to podcasts, so I clearly needed a great way to manage my podcasts.  I went with Pocket Cast and it’s great.

I found I can still mostly fit the Moto Z in my pocket, so I never had to go back to the Nano.

Moto Mods

 Now – what about the Moto Mods?  The Moto mods are the best thing ever.  We played Alice Cooper’s “Schools Out” through the Moto Z speaker, on the bike ride on the last day of school (much to the chagrin of my 9 year old) and it was glorious.  I use it when I am listening to a podcast while cooking or cleaning.  It sounds great; it’s easy to use.  I love it.  But the projector is really the best.  I have always wanted a projector and I remember occasionally checking eBay for used projectors after the dot com bust when business was bad and people were liquidating their assets.  But whenever I looked, projectors were always over $1000 and it just didn’t seem practical.  Especially because what I really wanted to do was hang a sheet in the yard and watch a movie outside on a summer night.  We haven’t done that yet, because our yard has been…. weedy this year, but we have done something better.  We took a white sheet on a camping trip and projected Guardians of the Galaxy onto the sheet inside our Eurovan.  And yes, theoretically I am opposed to “watching movies” when we should be “enjoying nature” but we enjoyed nature all day, and relaxed with a movie at bedtime and it was awesome.  It’s a fun summer memory!  Since the phone has 64G of space, I downloaded the one digital movie we own, and I can also download Netflix movies and shows when we won’t have wifi available.  At home we have one TV and it’s hard to find a movie that a 14 year old and a 9 year old can agree on. Now the 9 year old and I can lie in bed and project a Netflix show onto the ceiling while everyone else watches a movie on the TV.  It’s win-win!  I LOVE the projector. It’s so fun. Speaking of camping, another cool Moto Z feature is that with a quick wrist movement, you can turn on the phone’s flashlight.  This comes in really handy for me, because although we camped at least 15 times this year, we don’t seem to own any flashlights.

Challenges

Now for the downsides:  I’m not getting some texts.  This happens when someone replies to a group text that initially had me in there as an iMessage.  I have a few friends who make sure I am in the loop on group txts and eventually those old group txts will die out. I hope.  I just need to delete the group text off everyone’s phone next time we get together. Assuming I get the text about the get together. This is more the fault of Apple than Android, but there isn’t much I can do besides telling people to make sure I’m “green” when they txt me.

Spying on my teen is a little more complicated now because I don’t have “Find My iPhone” anymore.  Well, I don’t have it on my phone but I do have it on my computer.  And my husband has it on his phone.  And I could add an app that allows me to track my teen’s phone, but I haven’t had to do that yet.

Conclusion

Aside from missing a few group txts and not being able to easily spy on my teen, my Android phone has everything I want and more.  The transition was easy, and I love the mods that come with the Moto Z. I feel free to choose the best phone going forward instead of being married to Apple out of convenience and fear of change.

Exciting News!  As I was procrastinating this post, I received the moto gamepad console mod.  Initial reports from my main 9 year old tester is that it is awesome! I plan to follow up in a couple weeks with more market research from the teen, mom, and dad market sectors.