I made... chocolate croissants
This is my fourth and best attempt at making croissants. Attempts one and two turned out tasting good, but weren't as light and airy as a French croissant. They were more like a Pillsbury crescent roll. The butter cracked and seeped out while baking.
The third attempt turned out better, and they were much flakier and more buttery than the first two attempts. In this case, I used Claire Saffitz's Dessert Person recipe for spelt croissants, but substituted whole wheat flour for spelt flour. I also made sure to use European-style butter.
I read three books in two weeks
Last year, I had a goal to read 20 books. I ended up logging 18 books throughout the year. I went through long stretches of not reading, and abandoned some books along the way.
This year, I have the same goal to read 20 books, and I've already finished three books as of today. This might not be a huge accomplishment to some people, but with my sporadic reading habits in my adult life, I'm very happy with my productivity. I've made a couple of changes that are helping me reach my goal, and I'm hoping to maintain these habits through the rest of the year.
Kielbasa and sauerkraut
I really enjoy sauerkraut, but I like to temper the sourness with a bit of sweetness. All I had on hand this time was some orange juice and some brown sugar, and it turned out so great that I felt like I needed to write this version of the recipe down for later.
- 1 16 oz. jar of sauerkraut, drained, 1 tbsp brine reserved
- 1 package of turkey polish sausage or polska kielbasa
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 red potatoes, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Avoid doomscrolling with app pinning on Android
I, like many other people, am terminally online. Thanks to Mr. Musk, I've mostly kicked the Twitter habit by downloading my data, privating my account, and muting the app. (Yeah, I haven't actually uninstalled the app yet). I don't have the Facebook app installed at all (but Messenger is installed). I ignore Instagram push notifications. I do a bad job of ignoring the TikTok notifications. I've replaced Twitter with scrolling the Reddit app endlessly...
One of my justifications for keeping my phone on hand is because I can use my phone to read Kindle books. Unfortunately, I rarely reach for the Kindle app when I'm on my phone. Instead, I'm usually on Reddit or Facebook Messenger catching up with friends.
I've tried a few of these Digital Wellbeing features, but setting timers for apps just tends to make me angry. Focus mode is fine, but I usually just flip my phone to silence it instead, and put my phone across the room or in another room if I really need to focus.
What I really want is a way to force myself to use my phone more productively.
I made... fresh pasta from scratch
I've had the crazy expensive KitchenAid pasta roller and cutter set on my Amazon wishlist for a few years now, and this year I actually got them for Christmas! I couldn't wait to try making some fresh, homemade pasta.
I used the recipe out of the pasta roller's instruction manual, which is just a plain egg noodle made with flour, egg, water, and salt. However, I could tell that it would create much more pasta than I needed.
One of my latest kitchen hacks is to use ChatGPT to help me modify recipes and translate them into grams, so I can use my kitchen scale for measurements.