Sunday, January 11, 2009

BCS Bowl - The Best Team Lost

The 2009 BCS Championship game on January 9 was a highly anticipated event at our house. Living in a state that is passionate about the OU Sooners football team is very satisfying. After living in Texas--home to the Longhorns, the Aggies, and Texas Tech--it is refreshing to find abundant Sooner fans proudly waving their OU flags, wearing red and white T-shirts and sweatshirts, and talking openly about their love of anything Sooner-ish. My hubby supports OU every morning with his coffee mug.

In case you have no idea what the BCS Bowl was all about, No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners faced No. 2 Florida Gators in Miami, Florida, to determine the BCS National champions. Florida defeated the Sooners 24-14. All I can say about it is that the Sooners are better than their game indicated, and I was depressed when the game was over.

Here is what my son, a Texas Aggie, said about the game. He supports the Sooners (when they are not playing Texas A&M.)
Tough game. OU should've had a 10-14 point lead at halftime, which would've changed the whole complexion of the game.

I also don't understand some of Kevin Wilson's decisions. OU was killing UF with the 4 and 5 WR set in the 1st half, and then they went away from it. Their OL was rock solid in the 1st half -- UF couldn't get close to Bradford. And then in the 2nd half they decide to roll Bradford out of the pocket where he was exposed. Once he gets hit, he's not the same QB.

Defense actually played well, but got worn down in the 4th qtr due to the offense's inability to score.

Stoops and Meyer are the two best coaches in the country; unfortunately, Meyer outcoached Stoops last night.

It was a great game though -- two very good teams. I would love to see Utah play Florida.
That part I bolded? I have no idea what that means. I call it "man language" (although many women speak it also) and there is no translation for it on Babel Fish.

Here is my husband's response, written in the same man language:
Yes, it was a very good game; wish it could have ended differently but I agree with you----the play calling was very good in the 2nd quarter but for whatever reason, they went in a different direction from what was working.

Defense played outstanding on all but way too many 3rd and long.
Good game overall but they should have stuck with the hurry up, run it down their throats plays that were working in the 2nd quarter.

A couple of questionable calls and a couple of better 3rd and 4th down offensive plays and it could have been a completely different game.

Neither of these quotes alleviated my depression in any way, but I am already looking forward to next fall and the 2009 college football season.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Volcano Cheese Bread

I love melty, gooey cheese and warm, fragrant bread, and to find both in a recipe is a bread-baker's (and glutton's) dream. This recipe is an adaptation of one from the King Arthur Flour website and will not disappoint.

Volcano Cheese Bread
1-1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup cool water

All of the Starter
1-1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2-1/2 cups grated cheese (I used fresh mozzarella, havarti, parmesan, and sharp Cheddar)

In a medium-sized bowl, mix Starter ingredients together till well-combined. Make sure all ingredients are well-mixed; batter will be stiff. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature. After the overnight resting, it will look similar to this:

Bread Dough:
Combine risen starter with Dough ingredients. Knead (using your favorite method--I used my KitchenAid dough hook) until smooth dough is formed. Put dough in lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or till nearly doubled.

Gently press on dough with your fist to deflate it, then press it into a 9" x 12" shape. Mist with water; sprinkle with grated cheese. Starting with long side, roll carefully into a log and seal seam by pinching. Place seam-side down on lightly oiled or floured surface. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until puffed but not necessarily doubled.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut dough crosswise into 2 halves or four pieces, depending on the size of loaf you prefer. Place cut side up on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, using one sheet for two halves or two sheets for four pieces. Gently spread apart to expose cheese.

Mist with warm water and bake immediately, 20 minutes for smaller loaves or 35 minutes for larger loaves, or until the cheese is melted and loaves are deep golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool on a rack until you can’t stand it anymore, then tear off pieces with your fingers and enjoy bites of savory fondue-like cheese encased in a tender and tangy bread.