1. The no-knead bread was definitely a mess, just as the recipe said it would be. However, the recipe only said it would "look like" a mess when you (literally) dump it into the pot to bake it. None of the reviews said how much of a mess it would actually be. See?
Putting it on a dish towel to rise? It's an extremely wet dough, and I think I lost half of the loaf to the dish towel. It did turn out better-looking that I thought it would, given what that picture shows. A nice, rustic looking bread with a great interior texture:
And it tasted good. . .just made my jaw a little tired to chew it. Rustic breads are supposed to have hard, chewy crusts, I know. But this went a little beyond chewy.
All in all, I don't know if the mess and the over-chewiness were just me, but I know I followed the recipe to a T and I wasn't very impressed. Surprisingly, though, rather than confirming my boycott of yeast, this has actually made me want to try a normal yeast bread recipe, because I figure it can't turn out much worse than this, and maybe I can even get it better! Anyone have a favorite bread recipe to share with a beginner? Lisa?
2. The toasted coconut shortbread was very good, an excellent basic shortbread. Unfortunately, we really couldn't taste a coconut flavor. Don't get me wrong, a basic shortbread is absolutely fabulous. But taking the time to toast and grind the coconut, I was looking forward to something that tasted like. . .coconut. Anyway. I think I'll make it again, and next time add just a touch of coconut extract, to see what that does. Obviously we didn't have any complaints about the lack of coconut flavor though:
What? The recipe only made 2 dozen small cookies, and I gave a bag of them to my mom for a birthday treat! We liked them, okay?
3. Tonight's dinner was a cauliflower dal. This is a traditional Indian dish made with split peas and lots of spices, that is served kind of like we serve rice or potatoes--it's served at almost every meal, no matter what else is on the menu. I had made this one before, so I knew it was a good one. The difference this time was that Mia is 3 now and has a much more diverse palate (I don't think she was even 2 yet, the last time I made it), so she ate it with us! And it even got a thumb's up from her. I love that her palate is maturing enough to at least try crazy new things, and we always get a kick out of it when she likes it (bonus). Sometimes good food is really, really ugly. So I better include a picture of something cute along side it.
4. And finally, the 2 over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl called for banana bread. Especially since Mia will randomly request banana bread out of the blue once every few days lately--it's one of her favorite things. How could I say no?