Cooking Because I Can

I loved reading everyone’s comment about what motivates them to exercise.  No matter what your motivation for running, you always finish stronger and more confident that before.  It’s amazing what getting our blood flowing can do.

Today can be summed up in one word picture:

[Nutty Granola Bar and Orange segments]

Eat.  Study.  Repeat.   You know it is mid-semester when assignments and tests loom around every corner!  My workload today would not have been too bad, but my biochem instructor started flying through material.  We hadn’t even taken Test 2 and he was covering material for Test 3!  Unfortunately, I haven’t mastered the art of studying by osmosis, so I have spent the past few days trying to catch up the reading.  In the course of my studying, I found some interesting facts.  Be prepared to have your ego’s boosted.

1.  Humans only have 3X as many genes as a fruit fly.
2.  Humans only have 2X as many genes as a nematode worm.
3.  There is only a 1% difference between the human gene sequence and that of a chimpanzee.

How special do you feel now?  I started asking myself why I was studying if I was almost equivalent to a worm!  Despite these discouraging statistics, we are actually more complex and evolved than the worm and fruit fly.  “Alternative modes of gene expression allow the production of more than one protein from a singe gene- a process that humans and other vertebrate engage in more than do bacteria, worms, or an y other forms of life.” Because if this, we are able to produce more complex proteins.   More complex proteins = more complex functionality = Superiority of the human race! This explains why humans have the intelligence to swat a fruit fly, but the fruit fly can’t even find it’s way out of a open jar!

What is another reason to be thankful we’re more complex than a fruit fly or a worm?  We can make Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic White Bean Dip!

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic  White Bean Hummus

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 roasted red peppers, skins and seeds removed

4 cloves roasted garlic

2 cloves garlic, not roasted

1 1/2 t lemon juice

1/8 t pepper

1/8 t salt

dash red pepper flakes

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Voila! Use as a dip for veggies, or as a salad topper.

My favorite way to eat hummus, though, is spread on sandwiches or pita.  I love, love, love the creaminess of the hummus paired with crisp vegetables and soft bread!  That is exactly what I have packed for lunch tomorrow, but with a different hummus.  I’ll share the recipe for that hummus coming tomorrow!

Show and tell is not over yet!  I promised you a few days ago the recipe for the most amazing pizza crust that will ever cross the threshold of your mouth.  Well, thanks to Baking Illustrated and the pure genius of Shari, I give you the recipe for Whole Wheat and Flax Pizza Crust.


Whole-Wheat and Flax Pizza Dough

1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 t) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface and hands
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax
1 1/2 t salt
Olive oil or nonstick spray for oiling the bowl

1.  Measure the water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and sprinkle yeast on top.  Let stand until yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.

2.  Process flour, flax, and salt in a large food processor, pulsing to combine.  Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons) through the feed tube.  If the dough does not form into a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms.  Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.

3.  The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead by hand for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball.  Put the dough into deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.

4.  Roll.  Top.  Bake.  Enjoy!


Let me just say that I love a recipe book that has pictures.  I have been drooling over the pictures in the Baking Illustrated book, and am considering skipping class tomorrow so I can bake the day away!  Not only would I be much happier baking cinnamon rolls and Ciabatta bread, but I would save gas by not having to drive to class!

What do you do in such a situation?  Skip class and bake cinnamon rolls, banana bread, soft pretzels….or go to class from 9am to 5:15pm?
As much as I want to stay home and bake the day away, I’m too nervous a student to risk missing a day.  It is tempting given the price of gas, though!

About Caitlyn

Hi! I’m Caitlyn. Sister, daughter, runner, student, food lover, and healthy nut. These are the chronicles of my passion for food, running, and simple healthy living. Join me as I weave my way through life one spoonful of a time.
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9 Responses to Cooking Because I Can

  1. sophia says:

    I have class from 9 am- 7pm. Ha. I wish I could stay home and bake too!!

    And hey, we humans are more than genes…we can make yummy stuff…can a fruitfly do that? ;-)

    yay! i love the sound of that dough recipe!! esp the flax in it :D

  3. carlydeal says:

    Oh so hard to get motivated when you want to bake!
    I’m off to tell my boyfriend he is a chimpanzee :)

  4. Love your little spoon! Too cute!

    I flip for cookbooks with pictures! Seriously. Every cookbook I own has tons and tons of photos. I just love to see what I’m cooking! :) I’ll have to check this one out!

  5. Laura says:

    In high school I used to skip Geography once or twice a week to go home and bake cookies. I had so many absences at the end of the semester that the teacher told me he would fail me if he could… unfortunately for him I had 93% because of my test scores, hahaha. But no, probably not a smart idea for you because university is much more important!!

  6. I’m like you. I can never skip a class. I think I skipped a class once in my entire life, and that was because I was running a fever and had the chills.

    But I don’t know. Staying home with a new cookbook would be so tempting. ;)

  7. I was not as good of a student as you when I went to UGA. :)

    That roasted red pepper-white bean dip looks yummy!

  8. Oh, the fun stuff we learn in class! I remember learningin microbiology that humans are more closely related to plants than bacteria are. And people say we’re advanced. ;) haha

  9. Ok that hummus seriously looks delicious. I am making some ASAP!

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