Monday, September 17, 2007

Projects and foods and stuffs

No pictures, sorry, again with the technical difficulties.

I've been baking and cooking and crafting and exercising and reading a lot more now that I'm taking a break to apply to grad/med schools and look for jobs, because, well, that's some stressful stuff to be doing, so stress-busters are definitely needed all day long. And I've learned to not grow guilty over finishing up projects and stuff, guilty for "wasting" my time on "non-essentials" like crafting, because ultimately crafting is destressing, and it is also down time and a mental space to sort through the problems I am encountering ... and of course, if you deny yourself a certain pleasure, when you DO finally binge it is going to be all the worse for it.

So anyways. This is actually how I got back into crafting a year ago, the last time I was looking for a job and totally stressed out/depressed over my lack of vision/direction for the future. "I may not be able to find a job, but I can make my own underwear!" There's something really soothing and wonderful about tackling a project with an end product, someplace you can channel your nervous energy and creativity. And crafting in controlled bursts usually INCREASES my productivity in all other parts of my life, so really, it is better all around.

I'll have a slew of pictures when I finally fix my computer. But for now, dry text ramblings instead.

Recently I discovered a Universal Muffin Recipe, which I love because you can adapt a general framework to the ingredients you have on hand [really, one of my greatest cooking pet peeves is to have to buy all sorts of special ingredients. Probably this is why I am not very adventurous in the fooding area. Also the perpetual lack-of-recipe-usage, which I'm hoping to change soon, I just ordered a very promising vegetable book a couple days ago]. So far I've made zucchini-apple muffins and I'm going to try out carrot oatmeal muffins tonight. And did you know you can substitute peanut butter for some or all of the fat in this muffin recipe? Banana peanut butter chocolate chip muffins sound good to me ... whenever I get around to checking out that food coop on 48th/Irving that has the peanut butter you can scoop into your own container and pay for by weight. Maybe they'll have organic chunky peanut butter. Mmm ...

Of course this recipe doesn't use a whole lot of fat [perfect for health-nut-Jessica], so those who love rich, decadent baked recipes would probably be better off skipping it entirely, or just doubling/tripling the fat count. Me, I'd probably add in apple sauce instead, if I didn't know that you can also use other wet substitutes instead. Which I'll probably need to do anyways, seeing as I tend to bake with all whole wheat flour instead of doing a 2:1 white:wheat, as you're apparently supposed to do to retain fluffiness. Oops. Meh. I like my system.

And best of all, since I'm cooking for one, I just freeze up the extras for breakfast or snacks, and it lasts me a week or two, depending how snack-y I'm feeling. Never quite as fragrant as straight out of the oven, but you know, I love being able to control exactly what goes into my foods, so I'm more than willing to take that compromise. And more affordable, which is good, seeing as I'm currently on a break from paid employment.

One of these days I am going to try out Lisa's bake-luck idea, where you bake a double batch and shower you friend with her half of the goodies, and the next week she does the same in return. Then you only need to bake half as often! And as my doppelganger is also very into health and experimenting with new foods, I think this is going to be a lot of fun ...

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