Getting through life with a few spoons only – part 2: no machine? no knead!

This is the second installment to my series about low spoon cooking and it’s about using the no machine/no knead methods to your advantage.

Often times, “no machine” is used in the context of making ice cream. Regular ice cream recipes require a machine in which the cream mixture is frozen while being stirred. These machines can often be quite expensive and the process of making ice cream can be tedious. Which is why there are recipes that don’t require you to cook the mixture and then churn it (see below for my recipe of choice).

But I also use the term “no machine” in the context of not needing a standing mixer (like a kitchenaid) to be able to prepare something. Standing mixers, like ice cream machines, can be expensive. And not just expensive but also fairly bulky to keep on a kitchen counter. Plus: unless you bake a lot (or prepare very extensive recipes with a lot of steps to them), a standing mixer is not really necessary.

In fact, I had my first experience with owning a standing mixer/food processor combo about 12 years after my mom started teaching me to cook and bake; we only ever had a handheld mixer, which is something you don’t even need for the majority of recipes I’m going to be mentioning in this post. Most of them are using the “no knead” method, which is another step down from the “no machine” one, because “no knead” recipes add time and subtract the work part.

If you have a bit experience with yeast doughs (or even if you don’t), you might know they need love. The more love you put in through kneading, the better your dough. But let’s be real: even if the dough is relatively easy to handle and forgiving, kneading isn’t something everyone is always able to do. Or wants to do, for that matter. I like making a nice yeasty dough, but kneading is often the part of the recipe that makes me say “nope, not today”. And this is when the “no knead” method comes in, which uses less yeast than most regular recipes and adds 10-14 hours more rising time.

The only work you really actually do, is mixing the wet into the dry ingredients and only so much so that there’s no floury bits left. All ingredients have to be saturated. And that is it. Then you let it rise/ferment. (All recipes I mentioned feature videos that show everything step by step.)

Here are some recipes I love.

  • pizza dough: this is the pizza dough I mentioned in my other post. It is simply lovely. I’ve tried a few pizza doughs now and there was one that tasted quite like this one, but it required a lot (a lot!) more work and many more steps than this one. This dough, which I found on Gemma Stafford’s BiggerBolderBaking, is very forgiving and gives the baker a huge amount of time to prepare and finish it, which I adore because I sometimes simply need more time to go through the same steps.
  • donuts:ย these donuts aren’t just “no knead”, they’re also not fried but baked, which is certainly a nice step to be able to bail out on, because frying requires time and concentration. The donuts need to be cut out with a large cookie/scone cutter (and a smaller one for the hole), which admittedly can be too much work sometimes, but don’t worry if you’re not able to cut them out after the dough has risen because you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days which should give you enough time to recover.
  • Irish Soda Bread: this bread is considered a quick bread because the only thing you really do is saturate the dry with the wet ingredients and then simply bring the dough together into a loaf. And it is delicious- hearty and cozy. (Is that an acceptable word to describe bread? :D)
  • Supreme Pizza Bread: thisย is the bread I mentioned in my first post. I usually make it without the filling, because there’s less cutting involved that way, but it does taste good with it as well.

For all the recipes above you only need a bowl (I prefer glass, but that is definitely your choice) and a spatula or wooden spoon to bring the dough together. You can also use your hands, but due to my sensitivity issues I sometimes cannot stand the sticky dough, which is why I use my favorite wooden spoon. Then, you’re also going to need cling film (Saran wrap/plastic wrap) or a lid for your bowl, plus a towel or two to protect the bowl the dough from drafts.

 

  • no machine ice cream: this recipe is brilliant. You can whip it up in a pinch and I am not exaggerating. Granted, a handheld mixer is needed or, let’s say it this way, it would be advantageous but you could probably whip the cream with a whisk and a lot of elbow grease. Aside from that, though, you only need (whipped) cream and sweetened condensed milk for the base, then vanilla/vanilla extract (and, if you’re going for a different flavor than vanilla, also those ingredients)
    • If you are dairy-free, here is a recipe for you that uses coconut milk.

 

All of the recipes are from ladies who also have youtube channels, so you can also check out the videos on their sites to follow the recipes visually step by step.

Next up: more recipe ideas, including basic ingredients like pasta and how to use them in different meals.

Thank you for reading and happy baking. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

509.9

I’m scared today.

Scared of the future.

Scared that nothing will ever go right. Or left. Or anywhere else than here.

I’m scared that I’ll have to live this life, this life I currently have, until the day I die.

I’m scared that I’ll be crippled by this mind-numbing awfulness of the dark that surrounds me and my thoughts and that I’ll never amount to anything because of it.

I’m scared that I’ll never be able to change where I am. Or evolve. Not because I don’t want to. But because the energy is being drained from my body by screaming doubt and paralyzing fear and the terrifying knowledge that I’ve walked this road before and failed.

I’m afraid that I’ll not get to chase my dreams and move on to bigger and better things and forever be stuck in my head and this house.

I’m afraid.

Terrified.

A Hello and Goodbye. And 13 Things I learned in 2014.

Hello everybody.

Today is the 4th of January. It marks the anniversary of my great-grandma’s death, which is probably the reason why I lack control over my emotions on this particular day. I’ve pissed off everyone I’ve talked to today, but really…I don’t care. I miss her and no one can take the pain away. It’s something that I have to live with and if it helps to sleep and be bitchy, then so be it. At least for the day.

Which brings us back to 2014 because last year was a bitch also. It brought lots of tears, screams, nightmares, panic attacks, breathing problems, health issues, fights, worries. Sometimes I feel like I am still trapped in these moments, re-living and re-living them to the day I die.

But then there’s the good memories. The laughs and hugs and feel-good days and days over an average of 3.5 in my rating system. The days I did things I could not have done before, days when I did good. And sometimes these memories help chase the bad things away.

The most terrifying days of the year are always my birthday, and NYE. Often I feel like time is flying by – everyone is running past and I’m here, stuck in some kind of slow motion. In these situations, I try to remember to not look up the hill and see what is still ahead, but turn around and look down and realize how far you have come. It seems quite corny, but when you’ve known the state of mind where you don’t even think you’ll live to see your 16th birthday and then 2014 rolls around and brings with it your 22nd, it’s quite an amazing feeling.

And I think this is where I’m going to end this ramble. I don’t plan on doing a real re-cap this time, because I wanted to try something new. So here are some of the things I learned in 2014. (These are very personal discoveries I have made for myself, so if you, for example, have really nothing to complain about your family’s dinner habits, please have dinner with them. Don’t leave them alone. They will appreciate it, and you will, too.)

1. Sometimes, receiving presents from someone doesn’t mean they like you. And then again, sometimes it does.

2. People will over-react to anything and get offended by everything. If you encounter such a person, turn away and leave as fast as you can. It probably means they don’t have a very good grip on reality. You don’t need those people. Especially if they might carry a concealed weapon.

3. When someone whistles as you get out the car and literally only your leg up to your ankle is showing, plus half of your face, it’s not at all flattering, just freaking creepy.

4. Just because someone is asking for something, does not mean you have to give it to them.

5. Good AND bad people exist in and out of religion. Prayer and going to church does not necessarily make you good, just like not doing these things won’t necessarily make you bad. The ability of making decent choices has nothing to do with belief and religion or lack thereof.

6. If someone thinks that the right to marry someone is a bigger issue than children and adults starving all over the world, living in war zones, dying of illnesses that could be prevented by a tiny prick with a needle, they need a reality check.

7. Then again, if someone thinks marrying someone you love is a sin and abomination and will lead to people having sex with animals and children growing up ‘not-normal’, turn away. After all, they have already proven with these arguments that there is something not right about a conversation with them; meaning, they probably don’t have real concerns and are just douche bags who are uncomfortable in the chafing trousers their trophy wives can’t use fabric softener on. Then you need to go and marry your love anyway. (6 and 7 are to all the lovers out there)

8. People can be mean, be nice to them anyway.

9. Feeling the need to move out after years of not wanting to (and not being able to) leave your room, is terrifying, but one of the big victories.

10. Having breakfast/lunch/dinner with your family is hell, avoid it at all costs. Their eating habits and dinner table behaviour will drive you up the walls, so if you really cannot get out of doing it at all, try getting out early AT LEAST.ย 

11. Saying goodbye to a dead loved one is hard, saying goodbye to a live one even harder.

12. When you are stressed, do more of what you love and not what you should do because it will only make you more stressed. Grab a cuppa. A book. Or translate. Or draw. DO NOT grab the to do list.

13. Don’t force the big choices in life, as they will, like inspiration or love, creep up on you and choose you when you don’t see it coming.

And there you go. There’s loads more and maybe I’ll do another one of those posts, but to put it simply, I didn’t want to do too many and since 13 is one of my favorite numbers, I just went for it. Also, to be completely honest, I really didn’t want to be so cheesy as to choose “14 things I learned in 2014”.

Thank you to all my lovely readers who started following in 2014 and those, of course, who have been here for longer than that. And while I mainly do all of this for myself, it is incredibly honoring and exciting to see someone hang around for my posts. So thank you to all the peeps around the world!

Be kind.

With love,

Nike

PS: Get ready for a ton of quotes coming your way, but before them, there’s going to be another more personal post, so stay tuned, it’s all coming!

North Carolina.

So…I am still recovering from this damn virus that my Dad gave me, but I’m feeling loads better. I mean…throwing up and not eating is pretty bad when you’re supposed to eat regularly because your eating habits are already fucked up…but what are you gonna do? Nothing. You just have to go with it. So I still have a bit of nausea when I eat something and I’m still super tired and…spent…but I’m getting better.

And I went to see my psychiatrist on Thursday which is always something I…well…kinda fear. I don’t know why because I’ve been seeing him for quite some time now and he’s really a cool guy. It’s…it’s probably because I am terrified of myself, you know. Because I can’t quite trust myself and because I know what I have done to myself in the past and I’m terrified of admitting I’ve done something wrong or…ah…I don’t know. It’s difficult.

Also: the guy with the dog replied to my email and asked if I was still interested! At first I thought it’d be super cool but then I got thinking…what if I fail? So I wrote about my concerns on twitter and Mel totally talked me into doing it (thanks, hun!), so I went ahead and told the guy I was willing to meet up! Now I’m super excited for tomorrow cause I’ve seen the dog and he’s super cute and I really hope I get along with the owner and…yeah. I’m excited. And kinda terrified. Because I’m breaking out of my shell or something. Let’s see how it goes, hm?

Yeah. That’s pretty much all for now, I think.

I’ll let you guys know how it went. ๐Ÿ™‚

Demonic Wolves.

The past weeks I have had nightmares about wolves – literally every single night. And I’m like: what the heck? I really don’t know what to think of it. I mean…I always had a very strong connection with the moon, but seriously? I’m not turning into a werewolf, now am I? And these dreams – nightmares – are so freaking graphic. I’m not going into detail right now, but these dreams are so freaky.

But the really weird thing is that yesterday I watched this movie and it had a sequence with like…demon-possessed wolves and I’m like…”yeah, this is really gonna trigger these damn nightmares”. But it didn’t. Not that I remember, anyway.

Freakyyyyyy.

 

In other news: I am not better. At all. And now I’m not only fighting _drowning_, I’m also fighting my stomach. ‘Cause my eating disorder decided to fully kick in again. Yay.

Gah. This sucks.

 

Still in Pieces.

Had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday.

It went… Uhm. At first it went really well, but then..

I broke down.

I hadn’t cried in front of him for a long time. Usually I can contain myself really well, but this is just getting to me.

I seriously don’t know the majority of what he said anymore. I just know that he kinda thinks it’s somehow reason to worry that I feel how I feel right now. But on the other side he thinks it’s good that I don’t have to rely on ‘the voices’ so much anymore. He thinks it’s progress.

I think it’s reason to worry. But I didn’t tell him that.

I just… I don’t know what to think anymore.

He then advised me to up the dose of one of my meds. Which I really hope will help.

He also advised me to get an appointment with my therapist as soon as possible because he thinks that is part of what makes me feel like I’m falling apart on the inside. Because I kinda depend on her. And because it tore a little hole when I stopped seeing her.

Last time I saw him he said something like: “I think you’ll be able to come to terms with your disorder in the near future and I think you’ll be able to depend on yourself and be stable enough for it.” He didn’t seem to remember that yesterday. He said he saw progress, but that he also saw a need for a new round of therapy.

Mhm.

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In other news…

Mel decided to go to a clinic for residential therapy! I’m so very proud of her! I really hope it’ll help her. (Though there is some kind of ‘please wait in line till we can take you’ going on.) We’re all here for you, sweets! I’ll write to you everyday, if you want me to! Stay strong. LOVE YOU!