Five on Friday

A lot has been going on in my little world.  I could probably do 10 on Friday but that isn’t as cute and I need to get down to business!

1.  I got a new job!  And it is related to my degree!  This is great news.  I am so excited to be using my education.  Of course, it means more studying, but that is ok.  I had the pleasure of getting fingerprinted for it, which is always interesting.  I have now been fingerprinted 5 times.  One time with ink.  That was no bueno.  I was in a suit too, so I was very nervous about getting it on myself.  This time was electronic.  Much cooler.  Apparently I didn’t burn off my fingertips when I worked in restaurants.

2.  I started Crossfit again.  I am just in need of a major change with my fitness and this is a great way for me to get back on track.  The gym was amazing and I am super excited about getting back into it.  I never felt that comfortable at crossfit but maybe Tucson is the place for me to do that!  I did a lot of burpees and power snatches last night.  Weeeeeeee.  I probably look more like this than this.

3.  I am officially obsessed with the Gilmore Girls.  I play it constantly on my Kindle Fire and carry it with me from room to room while I am doing things around the house.  Lorelai annoys me slightly but also reminds me of a good friend (in a good way) and I adore Rory so much.  I have no idea why I didn’t watch the show when it was on TV but I am glad I have it now!  Now Lorelai and Luke need to get together (no spoilers, I’m on season 4).

4.  I am in a major purge of EVERYTHINGGGGGGG.  It’s a long story but my clothes have been in a storage unit far away from me for over a year.  So when we were reunited, I was motivated to junk a lot of them.  Two large trash bags later and now I am itching to be rid of more stuff.  Why is there so much stuff everywhere???  It takes time but, it feels so good when it is gone.  I am trying to replace things and not add to the clutter.  One in, one out.

5.  I am in a cooking rut.  I think I have too many options from which to choose.  I just got Homemade Decadence, by Joy Wilson and Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi, but I haven’t made a single dish from either.  I keep dragging them out, paging through half the book and putting it down and doing nothing.  I was using Seriously Delish, by Jessica Merchant a ton when I first got it and love it, I think I just need to make a concerted effort to use books and not the internet.

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Croissants

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Croissants are probably one of my favorite foods.  I am really not a bread person.  I don’t really buy it and I don’t miss it.  I will make a cinnamon roll or the like, but I consider that to be a sweet.  I prefer a savory breakfast and eat eggs in some form every morning.  However, if I am having a rough time of it, a croissant is in order.  When I was working in NYC, every time I departed from the subway in the morning, I passed a bakery that had bagels, rolls, and fresh croissants.  It was so easy to dip in, get my warm, buttery, flaky croissant, and continue the route to work.  Also, my favorite place to eat in NYC is City Bakery.  They take the classic croissant and step up the game with a Pretzel Coissant.  They use a salt wash on the outside of the pretzel and it is a bit dryer (in a good way) than a classic croissant.  The croissant at Starbucks is not great, but not bad, and it will do in a pinch.  Also, it has less calories than most of the stuff in their pastry case.  So, croissants are a health food.

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I am currently in transition from one job to another and I have some extra free time.  It is just so much easier to devote your time to these lengthy project when you know you have limited distractions (like a job – hah).  I was inspired by Dominique Ansel’s Cronut recipe that has been recently published.  However, I thought if i were going to ever attempt making the cronut, I needed to make a classic croissant first, to understand the basics of a laminated dough.

I did some research and was pointed to the Cooks Illustrated method.  I read about other home baker’s errors and made a game plan to avoid them.  I loaded up on King Arthur All Purpose flour (not an ad), just recommended since it has a slightly higher gluten content than other all purpose flours.  I also loaded up on Plugra, a high fat content butter.  I scoped our house for a cool spot for the final rise.  I was concerned about this, being in the desert, but I found a closet that is nice and cool.  I watched the Cook’s Illustrated video about a million times and got to work.  The process was lengthy, but straightforward.  I was nervous at the end, just because so much work went into the pastries, but they turned out great.  When I was rolling them, I put some 60% chocolate into some of the croissants, and gruyere sticks and prosciutto in others.  I left more than half plain and wish I had filled more, but all were wonderful.  I found the process a lot less tedious than making a pie.  I think that says something about me, not sure what!