Cooking wise, if not in other respects, 2016 has been a successful year.
I made a second sourdough starter with canned pineapple juice and whole wheat flour and then made some great breads with it. I thickened it up quite a bit compared to the one I made in 2105 and that may have accounted for some of the success. Experience helped as well, as I’m less hesitant about trying new sourdough recipes. I did revisit the old stand-by, regular yeast, and made a delicious honey challah just before Christmas. Definitely something I’ll be repeating next year.
Bacon, Cheddar Cheese and Cracked Black Pepper Sourdough loaf and round Honey Challah
Crumb of the challah
Cooking on an even stricter budget than ever before resulted in having to be creative with simple ingredients bought on sale, like chicken, pork and ground beef, or leftovers, and the results were mostly successful. You’ll have to scroll back through the posts to see them. I do miss fish, seafood and steak however. I’m also grocery shopping less often and there’s less wastage as I try to use up what’s most perishable first. I’m also going back to basics with the dishes I’ve been making such as cookies and fudge. I haven’t been buying as many jarred sauces as in the past, while using up the ones I already have in things like stir-fries.
The meat sauce I made recently with a simple spaghetti sauce base was delicious as well as economical. One pound of ground beef was stretched to make eight cups of sauce.
I turned some leftover mashed sweet potato into muffins with raisins for added sweetness using a recipe found on Rachel Ray’s web site.
And because I missed seafood … I bought a package of mussels in garlic sauce on sale, and one of cooked shrimp, and made this pasta dish with the spaghetti sauce.