Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We're loving our first Christmas with Ruby. Not that she knows what's going on yet, of course, but she sat in Mama's lap while I unwrapped her gifts for her.

It's amazing how much little ones change in a few short months. She's so alert now and notices everything. Ruby thinks the Christmas tree lights are the best thing ever and just stares and stares at them. I take her over to the tree every evening so she can coo over the pretty ornaments. I talk back to her in coos- she gets a kick out of it (and I do, too).

I had hoped to get around to making gingerbread men from an old favorite recipe but the days got away from me. So instead, I made gingerbread pancakes for our Christmas breakfast.

I hope you're enjoying the season and that you made Santa's "nice" list and he left you lots of good loot.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Coconut-Chocolate Bread

I love to make indulgent breakfast treats for the holidays but this year it's not likely that I'm going to have the time to be whipping up pain au chocolat or cream-filled doughnuts. What I can manage, however, is this coconut-chocolate bread. Served warm from the oven slathered with a good quality, salted butter, it's just as decadent as the aforementioned treats but it takes only about one-eighth of the time to make.

I found the recipe for this bread in Jim Lahey's book, My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method. While I still feed my starter religiously in hopes of getting back to making sour dough breads again one day, I often turn to Mr. Lahey's recipes because his breads are outstanding considering how little effort is required. His recipes are kind of like a baker's Life Hack. 

Nominal effort is big in my book lately. I am only barely managing the mountains of laundry and other sundry tasks that seem to take up an out sized portion of your day when living with a baby. (The baby books don't tell you that at 10 o'clock at night, even though you're bone tired and needed to be in bed over an hour ago, you'll still be up sterilizing pacifiers.) These days, I'm sure as heck not taking on complicated, multiple day baking projects. (Life has changed so much, I don't even know who that person is anymore. I want to go back in time and tell her to chill out and stop stressing over silly stuff. And to go take an uninterrupted nap while she still can.)

We have family visiting this weekend and I'm thinking about making another loaf of this bread so I'll have a homemade treat on hand to serve. They won't know that it took less time to mix up and bake this bread than it would to stop by a bakery to pick something up. They'll just marvel at the fact that I can manage to still make homemade baked goods and wrangle a baby. Or at least that's the desired response.

And let me tell you, they'd damn well better acknowledge my awesome SuperMom-ness. Yes, I know it's stupid to care what others think but honestly, that's just where I'm at. Give me another year and I'll probably be at the bakery, unshowered and in sweatpants, picking up day old pastry with no remorse. But for now, I still need to feel like I can manage it all. Even if I'm taking every short cut I can to get there.

(This Babble post from Cassandra Barry on unsolicited advice for grandparents is hilariously true. She captures so well the snotty indignation I feel when dealing with family, even while recognizing that I'm being ridiculous and childish.)