After riding with DD to school, I went on my own little bike ride again. I really have to remember to take a pic of my new bike (I don't feel like getting it back out of the shed right now. The new lawnmower is going to piss me off, I can tell that already). It's so purty. It's white with magenta and purple flowers here and there. The seat springs squeak. I wonder if I can do anything about that? I am getting the hang of the gears and everything. When I was a kid I loved riding my bike. It was more than just a way to get from here to there, it was an event in itself! We lived on an odd shaped block that was much bigger around the back than typical (it went around a school and a small forested area). Completely connected with sidewalk so there was no need to cross any streets or anything. We would go around and around and around. Sometimes we would cut down the forest path and go around the school. The breeze on my face and in my hair, the feeling of freedom. My favourite was to pedal like crazy then kind of coast for a bit. I am beginning to remember that feeling, and experience it again. Kind of silly, really. But I think I needed a little bit of "fun" back.
Speaking of fun, this baking and cooking streak is turning out to be more interesting and less stressful than I had thought it would be - which is definitely a good thing. DD is eating better and BOY can we see a difference! She is more pleasant to be around, has more productive energy, no more complaints and arguments about homework, no more fighting about bedtime. She still isn't eating veggies and has the occasional junky snack. But already I can see her making better choices. MIL bought her a sports drink (another no no here). Normally she would suck back the entire thing (why not, I mean it is corn syrup in a bottle right?). This time she drank maybe 2 oz then put the cap back on and announced she didn't like it. "It's too sweet. And it feels funny in my mouth. Slippery kind of". Scaling back the sugar and the sweet stuff was a good idea, then! For lunch yesterday I cut some leftover steak into long strips and threaded them onto skewers. Those and some fruit kebabs (apples, honeydew, and grapes) and 1 oz of cheese. She took a granola bar as well but didn't eat it. I really believe upping the protein content of her lunch (which stays with her longer than her usual carb fest) has made this difference. As long as she continues to eat them, I will continue to make her these special lunches.
Searching around on the net, I found a recipe to use my wheat bran. Remember the stuff I sifted out of the whole wheat flour? I made an adaption of a recipe I found on an Italian blog. So much of an adaption that they no longer really resemble the original recipe LOL.
Wheat Bran Cookies
7 oz butter (by weight - next time I think I will just use 3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
1 cup wheat bran (mine was a little over but close enough)
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp vanilla
Cream the butter and sugar. While that is happening you can toast the wheat bran (I used a dry skillet stirring continually for a few minutes, you can do it in the oven, or just skip it because it makes the house stink).
Add the egg and vanilla to the butter/sugar and beat well.
Add the flour, cooled wheat bran, and wheat germ. Mix until it is all incorporated.
Roll into small balls (I used a measuring spoon and made them about 1 tbsp each, approximately 1 inch balls). Flatten with a fork, or do what I did and use the corrugated side of a meat mallet. Boy, that was fun!
Bake at 350 degrees (I might up that to 375 next time) for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen 2 inch cookes.
Note that there is no leavening other than the egg. These don't really spread and they don't really puff up. After baking they have a crispy outside with a softish (but not doughy) center. The texture almost reminds me of an oatmeal cookie, with a wheaty flavour instead of an oaty one. Next time I might use raw sugar instead of plain white. I think brown might make a softer cookie and I don't want that. Even though these have wheat bran and germ, I wouldn't consider them a "healthy cookie" seeing as there is like a cup of butter and sugar in there. But they are tastey, healthier than something made with shortening and much more sugar, and even DH and DD liked them. Raisins, currents, cranberries, or snipped dried fruit and even nuts would be a good addition in my opinion if you like a more loaded cookie.
MIL sent over some store bought chocolate chip cookes, a brand that DD loves (but I don't like her to have because they are crap but we won't get into that fight now). She had two in her hand, and took one of my cookies as well for her snack. A minute later she came back up, put the two chocolate chip cookies back in the package and took two more of mine! Now that is high praise indeed. Maybe I am having some effect after all.
I will be baking the no knead bread (from starter) sometime this afternoon. I have never seen the overnight proof so big! Of course I just realized I am out of parchment paper so will have to try without it. My loaf won't be such a perfect ball, but that is fine. I'll have to remember to add it to the shopping list. I wonder if I can finally find the pre-cut stuff that stays flat. I also want to make the jelly tonight but that might be ambitious. We shall see.
Here is a gratuitous picture of Jasmine, doing a Sun Salutation of her own, in lazy cat style.