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24 July 2014 @ 10:36 am
Cooking stuff. (Things.) And my maladious injury.  
I've been trying to cook more of my own food lately rather than relying on boxed stuff, and it's been pretty fun!  Some of the things I've made recently.

  • Homemade graham crackers.  I ended up buying graham flour online because I couldn't find it in a store - and then as soon as it did I found some, haha, oh well.  The dough itself was easy to make since there was no kneading, but rolling out and cutting the crackers was a little tedious.  Taste-wise they weren't really anything like packaged graham crackers, quite a bit more gritty from the graham flour, but still very good.  They were amazing broken up into a bowl with milk for breakfast.  I think I'm going to make another batch shortly for a fancy icebox cake.

  • Icebox cakes!  Easy to make, easy to adapt.  The first one I made was regular graham crackers, real whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder between layers and chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Incredible.  The one I made this week was graham crackers, instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip, with mini-chocolate chips.  Cheaper, easier, but definitely not as good.  I want to do one with Oreos of some kind - maybe mint - and then real whipped cream.  There's definitely a difference in taste that is worth the time and money involved in real whipped cream.

  • Granola.  I did a mix of rolled oats and rolled wheat flakes, with flax seeds, peanuts and almonds.  Baked the mess up with real maple syrup and honey, added in dried cherries and cranberries after baking.  There was some cinnamon in there, too.  I find it tough when making homemade granola to get the right temperature/length of baking combo so that the granola is nice and crunchy but isn't burnt, and this is as close as I've ever gotten to perfect.  Also great with milk in a bowl for breakfast.

  • Pan pizza in my cast iron skillet.  I used a standard pizza dough recipe that called for eight minutes of kneading, which is a pain since I don't have a Kitchen-Aid that can do my kneading for me, but the crust turned out great.  If you have a cast iron skillet and you've never made a pizza in it, I highly recommend it.  Assemble the whole pizza, then put the skillet on a burner on high for 2-4 minutes to cook the bottom of the crust - be preheating your oven as hot as you can get it in the meantime.  Then 10 minutes or so in the oven should finish it off, with maybe a minute or two under the broiler after that.  The "oven as hot as you can get it" is why I haven't done this in a few months.

  • Flatbread pizza on the grill.  Perfect way to do homemade pizza in the summer!  I made a very garlicky naan dough, grilled one side, then topped it with fresh tomato slices, mozzarella, fresh basil and oregano, sliced olives and some bacon.  By the time you're done topping the pizza the other side is about cooked, so it's a matter of closing the grill lid for a minute or two to melt the cheese, and you're done.  A sprinkle of grated parm and you're set!

  • Shakshuka.  This is one thing that didn't quite turn out as I'd hoped.  I'm not the biggest fan of unadulterated tomato taste, and thought the garlic, chilis and onion would make more of a sauce.  But I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Next time, though, I think I'll go with a more Italian vibe, poach my egg in a straight-up marinara.  All told, though, it's hard to go wrong with poached eggs.

What injury, you may be asking?  The problem is...I'm not sure.  I went jogging Sunday night, and as sometimes happens, my fingers got swollen.  It's a thing that happens, it's irritating, but it usually only lasts 5-10 minutes and it's not a big deal.  Monday morning, just my middle finger on my right hand was still sore.  Weird, but okay.  And it hurt on Tuesday.  And it hurt yesterday.  Today it's so sore that I taped it to the ring finger, almost more as a reminder not to use it than anything else.  (Typing this has been fun.)  I don't remember hitting the finger against anything, so I don't know - it's very strange.  Pain-wise it feels like a broken finger, but I've broken a finger before and like an hour later it turned a violent purple and swelled up a huge amount; neither of those things have happened at all.  Can you sprain a finger?  At any rate, I've been going back and forth on whether I should go to my doctor and ask for an x-ray or see if it just gets any better.

I feel like the whole thing is stupid, though.
Martinela_loony on July 24th, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC)
Pretty sure your finger. Actually I think you can sprain about any joint you have. I am no expert though and would say let a doctor have a look at it just to be safe.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on July 25th, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm leaning towards a sprain at this point. But I'll wait on the doctor - if I can avoid having to spend a bunch of money, I will. XD
Ms Dref: Heroes - office/hrgdref22 on July 24th, 2014 06:40 pm (UTC)
OMNOMNOM shakshuka! We have it here too and our version definitely, totally does not have any eggs!

You can spray your finger! It's a common injury when playing certain sports like basketball.
Shannon: office whicka whatkungfuwaynewho on July 25th, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
The poached eggs was the main selling point for me! But I love poached eggs, so.

I used to jam fingers all the time playing sports - and it's how I broke a finger once before - but that's what's been so weird. I don't remember hitting it against anything! Ah well.
Ms Dref: Star Trek TOS - LOL Khandref22 on July 25th, 2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
Maybe you slept weirdly? I am capable of hurting myself during sleep. XD
enigmaticbluesenigmaticblues on July 24th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
You can definitely sprain your finger, or even jam it. I did that once playing softball, and it hurt like the dickens. On the other hand, if you don't remember doing it, it might be a good idea to see a doctor. Of course, if you did something to it, say in your sleep, then icing it, taking ibuprofen and taping it is probably exactly what the doctor is going to say...
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on July 25th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sticking with ice and Advil for now, and we'll see how she goes. It's just weird...
sallycandance on July 25th, 2014 04:57 am (UTC)
Mmmh, I like Shaksuka! Especially with rice or potatoes to go with it. yum-yum.

As for your finger: It sounds like there's some sort of inflamation going on underneath the skin. Perhaps the joints are inflamed. You could try Traumeel ointment and see if it makes it better. (http://www.traumeel.com/) It's a natural formula, so no weird side-effects or drugs in there.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on July 25th, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
I hadn't thought about doing it with a starch; I could definitely see it with rice. I just had flatbread to go with it which was quite yummy.

I've never heard of that ointment before; I'll have to look into that. I've been taking ibuprofin for the inflammation, and it seems to be helping.
sallycandance on July 26th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
It's great with bread, too, of course (or pasta), except I'm eating mostly gluten-free, hence I favor rice.
dunderklumpen: Beatles_Layout Icondunderklumpen on July 25th, 2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
I hope your finger is a little better. Did you see a doctor?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on July 25th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
Nah, I'll wait and see if it gets any better on its own. It just doesn't seem quite serious enough to take time off work/spend the money to see a doctor. It seems a little less tender today...or maybe I'm just getting used to it, hee.