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It’s the last day of 2014.  Who can even believe how fast the year has gone?

Anyway, I’ve been reading up on the different types of yeast. I’m an active dry yeast kind of girl, but so many recipes call for instant yeast that I thought I ought to double check the differences.  All I’ve found out is that what I’ve been doing already was exactly correct.  Ha!

That said, as much a fan as I am of traditional bread making (i.e. kneading by hand), I am kind of in love with the no-knead recipes.  I have one I love from King Arthur because it’s so easy.  I added a bit of ground flaxseed to today’s batch, but other than that, I tend to follow the recipe.  (Excepting yeast.)  Anyway, the great thing is that you can bake bits of it at a time.  The dough can stay in the refrigerator for about a week, so for that long, you could have fresh bread every day if you wanted.  (In small amounts, of course, and I halve the recipe to begin.)

If you don’t bake bread, you should give it a go.  There’s nothing quite better than the yeasty smell of fresh bread. The King Arthur recipe I linked is a good start if you’re afraid of kneading or things going wrong.

(Someday I’d even like to catch my own wild yeast from the air and keep a starter going instead of using commercial yeast.  But I admit that starts you down the crazy bread maker route.)

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I actually have a tree this year.  Lights, no ornaments, because my cats are, well, cats.

For Christmas day, I’m going to the folks’ and bringing orange white chocolate chip rolls (some with dried cranberries) that I’ve made and have frozen (uncooked), and I’m also going to make a loaf of Santa Bread.  (Seriously, so cute.)  I’m sincerely hoping it doesn’t turn out hideous.

Speaking of holidays, my only real weight loss goal for this season is to not gain weight.  I think I’ve mentioned I’ve been on My Fitness Pal for awhile now–and have lost 4 pounds so far.  But until January, it’s okay so long as I just maintain.

Plus, in honor of Christmas, J.K. Rowling has a 12 days of Christmas thing on Pottermore.  It’s fantastic!  Answer a riddle and get a new scene, every day!  I’ve already made a new potion–Doxycide, but have to wait until I have more time to make the Shrinking Potion.  So great.  I love Harry Potter.

I’m really dissatisfied with life lately.

And how wrong is misandry, really?  The article I linked to would say pretty bad.  But sometimes I fear it’s true–that I do truly hate men in general.  (I do not connect misandry with my feminism–not in the slightest.  I connect it with life experiences and a tendency to believe the worst about people.)

Bear in mind: I don’t hate all men.  I have men in my life who I like quite a bit, in fact.  This is a very generic sort of feeling that can be overcome.

The Kinsey Scale says that sexuality falls on a sliding scale, that few are 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual.  The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid suggests that sexuality can change over time and is much more fluid than we sometimes believe.

You can connect the dots because I have to go wash dishes and head to bed.  (Ugh, dishes.)

My cats are whiners.

There are too many thoughts sometimes.

And why are other people so awful so often?

I want to cloister myself away and only surround myself with those who are dear to me.

I constantly feel as though I say or do the wrong thing, usually with good intentions.  I always feel as though I should be over that by now–either the doing so or the feeling so.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever leave my organization, or if I’ll just keep answering phones for the rest of my life.  I mean, what if that’s all I am actually capable of doing?  Sure, I can aspire to maybe an office manager someday, elsewhere, but could I move out of this context?  Where I am, it is doubtful if something will open up–although not impossible.  But how long should I wait?  Should I?  On the other hand, it is not as if there are other opportunities just waiting to snatch me up.  And I like where I am…  Sigh.

I want a shinier version of my life.  I want to be energetic, friendly, outgoing, fun.  I want to not be afraid of making new friends, meeting new people.  But these things are not who I am.  Maybe I should just want to be me and be content with that.  I’m going to blame December for my present gloominess.

Unrequited love is an interesting thing, isn’t it?  I think I like it better than actual, returned, two-way love.  That must say something about me–and nothing good.  But returned love (speaking of romantic love, of course) is messy and nothing I’ve ever really experienced.  It’s one of those unknowns that the universe may or may not have in store for me.

Meh.

I made this yesterday to have for breakfast a few days this week.  It is so incredibly delicious that I thought I should share it with you.  The original recipe was taken from The Kitchn.  But I made a few changes.

1/2 cup farro, semi-pearled
1 cup water
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
2 small apples, cored, peeled, & chopped into small cubes
1-2 tsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (for serving)

Combine farro, water, and salt in pan. Set timer to 30 minutes.  Bring to boil, then let simmer, covered, until plump.

While farro is cooking, saute apples in butter for about 5 minutes.  Add cinnamon, cranberries, and walnuts.  Stir in maple syrup.  Let cook a few minutes on medium-low until warmed and combined.

Divide farro into three equal portions.  Top with three equal portions of apple mixture.  Mix in 1/4 cup Greek yogurt per serving.

It reheats wonderfully–obviously don’t add the yogurt until you’re ready to eat it.

And for another farro recipe, check this one out: One Pan Farro with Tomatoes.  The only differences I made were using 3 roma tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes, adding 1/2 (?) tsp chili powder instead of red pepper flakes, and adding a can of kidney beans.  I left off the cheese and used dried basil when I added the chili powder.

Apparently I’m all about the farro lately. (I bought a bag of it this weekend, so have been looking up recipes.)

Enjoy!