Category Archives: Cookery

its getting warm out side . .. time for ice tea!

Its probably the British in my blood and the southern in my brain that’s got me jumping for ice tea once the temperature gets too warm to rationalize hot tea, but oh dear is it a lovely thing.  Apparently, I lived years and years not knowing that one could drink ice tea without buying specifically labeled “ICE TEA”, but now that I know there’s not much holding me back.

Now I love herbal tea, which works great for iced.  My favorite tea at the moment is Green Cinnamon though, which was a surprisingly successful experiment.

you didn’t know that any tea could be iced either? well, here’s what I like.
Now I like using my tea leaves that I got from the korean grocery store near my school simply because it’s super yummy but a simple tea bag works fine as well. Obviously though if you’re making more than a single cup you’ll need more than a single bag.
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I like just dumping the leaves straight into my bottle since the tea diffuser only makes 2 cups.

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This time I used my VOSS bottle, because it’s kinda epically shaped and glass.
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so in went maybe just over a tablespoon of that and a few pieces of cinnamon bark.

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I like using my cinnamon bark, as opposed to sticks because A. they were cheap to buy in bulk at the indian grocery store and B. I store them in a plastic bag and the broken pieces that collect at the bottom work well for this (since they’re half the size of the rest of the bark)

then I steep it like regular tea! only thing (I realized after I’d been carting around my iced tea from class to class) is its kinda a yellow-y colour. I’ll let you guess what it looked like.  So I decided to milk it, and that worked just as well, if not a little better!
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If wanted, sugar’s added while it’s still hot, to help it dissolve best.  You can get the leaves out if you want but since my bottle’s so tall I’m not really worried about drinking them.  I always like my ice tea strong anyways too, so the longer it can steep, the better.

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omnomnom- I think I started something horribly delicious

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So a few weeks ago during my long hiatus that was lent I decided it was getting to hot to bak up up my remaining yams so what else is there to do? Here I am with a bunch of yams and nothing to make . . . well, not quite.  I may have started a long trend with a hilarious ending with this but I decided to make Sweet Potato Fries

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yum yum yum

So here’s my recipe:
– 1 large yam or sweet potato

– spices (I used garlic powder and paprika)

-salt

-olive oil

–preheat oven to 400 (my oven never hits the right temp so you might find 350-375 better if they seem like they’re burning)

First you cut the potato into wedges, which is easier on some yams than others.  Mine was so big after I sliced it into wedges I had to bisect the wedges once more, lest my fries be as thick as three fingers. (you don’t need to peel them, just give ’em a good scrub)

Second you mix the yam wedges with your spices, the salt, and olive oil.  Now I fudged all the quantities and so did my roommate so just add what seems appropriate.  If you really have no idea just make sure that you can see a little of it sticking to the yam once it’s all mixed but don’t go heavy on the salt (you can always salt later if you need to!) I made that mistake with my turnip fries and  . . . . well, they were irreversibly salty.

third you put all the spiced and oiled wedges onto a cookie pan in a single layer.  you don’t want your wedges floating in oil, so don’t pour it all in if you’ve got a lot.

stick it in the hot over for 15 minutes then flip them over.  They should be browned pretty decent-like on one side.  Cook for another 10 minutes and bada bing bada boom! There you go! sweet potato fries!


Now I enjoy eating mine in a ketchup mustard mix but I’m sure whatever you put on normal fries will work great on these too.

After I made this my roommate was rather thrilled with the idea and made batch after batch day after day until she was tired of them. (I haven’t seen a yam since).  The boys upstairs obtained yams too . . .  except theirs got defenestrated.

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I’ll toss my sweet potato cakes into this post since they’re on the same track (yams!) but I haven’t any photos.  Except for one of their frozen little behinds in a ziplock (perfect for popping in the toaster on my way to class!)

If you’ve ever made potato cakes, this is basically the same thing, except with yams! You can go either sweet or salty, but I did sweet.

-one large yam

– milk

– an egg

– some flour

– about 1-2 tbs butter

– spices (I used Chinese 5 spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove)

– around 2 tbs sugar (If you’re making them sweet!)

—-
– first you peel and cube the yams

– boil them with a little salt for around 20 minutes or until mashable and soft to the fork prod.

– make mashed potatoes! (ie, use the fork [or a mixer if you really want to clean it up] and mash it up with the butter and a little milk).  mix in your sugar and spices at this point too

if you wanted to you could stop at this point and just eat mashed yam, but maybe I’ll do that some other time.

-add the egg into the mashed yams and bat them together.

-note the yams should be much thinner now so add in enough flour until you’ve got a decent sort of thick batter (think thick pancakes)

-spoon a dollop onto a hot greased pan and wait until the bottom has cooked.  Once you’re able (it should only take a minutes) flip the cake over and use the spatula to push down the cooked side flat.

once the other side is cooked I usually flip mine back over again to finish up the first side and brown the edges that I squished out.

TA DA!

I enjoyed eating mine like British shrove pancakes: with lemon juice and sugar, but honey works just as well.  for that matter a creme cheese icing would be fantastic as well.

the freeze decently well, but are definitely best fresh. if you plan to freeze them make sure your batter’s a littler thinner since you’ll want the toaster to make them warm and a little firm without turning the edges black.

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Chocolate Kitty Crisp Cookie


Today I had the worst hankering for chocolate (and cheese doritos with Spinach dip but that’s another story) so out I pulled my cute little kitty cookie cutter and sat down to make some cookies.  I don’t have a sugar cookie recipe memorized so I used the Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies recipe from All Recipes as a base and flew from there

So here’s my Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus about 2/3 cup more to make it the right consistency)
  • 3/4 cup Nestle Rich Milk Chocolate Hot coco mix
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 egg

I’ve tossed hot coco mix in my cookies a lot now and I’m not sure exactly the difference between cocoa and this except that cocoas a fair bit more bitter and the mixes that go with water probably have condensed milk in them.  I love adding flavored coca because it’s an epic way to get that minty tinge to my cookies in the easiest way possible.  extracts never seem taste-able to me when i bake them in. [/sadness]

I basically followed the instructions on allrecipes but because I made some changes I did a couple of things different.  I mixed the dry together then added in 1 egg and both sticks of butter.  I hate microwaving my butter and I never think ahead to soften it so I just cut it into   1 tbs slices and used to knifes to make it all crumbly.
It was at this point that I realized that  there wasn’t enough liquid and my dough wasn’t sticking properly so I added a second egg and mixed it in with the knives.  Well guess what, now it was too sticky so I gestimated with flour until it was about right.  (if you’ve made cookies before I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  You can form a ball but it doesn’t stick all over your fingers.)

Finally! my dough was done! Turning the oven on I realized–I still need to refrigerate it.  Impatient college student that I was I only let it sit in the fridge for an hour before pulling out my roomie’s awesome rollpat.  I’m always skeptical about my counter’s cleanliness and sticking is always a problem but this awesome little tool solves almost all my problems.  Cookies I’ve made in the past didn’t stick to it at all but this troublesome dough still needed to have flour put down first.  Though I did notice when I refrigerated it longer it stuck less. . . .  hmmm. ¬_____¬

Well I cut my Kitties out pretty thin, like maybe half a centimeter, give or take, and popped them into the oven at 375F for 11 minutes.  The kitties browned very little on the edges and were still a little soft when I pulled them out but hardened within 5-7 minutes of cooling.  So If you try to take them off the pan fresh like chocolate chips the little boogers will fall apart on you but if you wait too long (like I did for one batch, whoops) you’ll be chiseling the suckers off.

The recipe made about a bajillion kitties.  but seriously I think I pulled out about 5-6 trays of 9 kitties.  No kitties were eaten during the process at all, I swear *shift eyes*


Put Concisely: 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus about 2/3 cup more to make it the right consistency)
  • 3/4 cup Nestle Rich Milk Chocolate Hot coco mix
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 egg
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  • mix dry ingrediants
  • add eggs
  • add more flour until it’s the right consistency
  •  refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  • roll out about .5 cm thick and cut into kitty shape (or something else if you don’t own an awesome kitty cutter but I can’t guarantee they’ll taste good if they’re puppies and teddy bears)
  • bake in oven at 375 for 11 minutes or until edges are just barely darker than the rest of the cookie
  • let cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before placing of drying rack
  • share kitties with all your friends!

Makes about 40 kittys.

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is it karma that my roommates always out when I watch something scary?

Oh dear goodness time has just FLOWN by.  It seemed just last week that I was procrastinating buying textbooks and now its almost midterms.  Which speaking of which, is making my day horrendous. Today marked my first tests of the semester.  Both non art classes have their tests today: American Civilization II and Astronomy (I don’t dislike being at a liberal arts school at all sometimes [/sarcasm])
Lets walk through my least favorite weekend to date.
Saturday:
I wake up around 10 and start cooking my beans.  I bought black beans and had them soaking over night and I’m super excited.  I’ve never made beans before! I don’t think I’ve even bought them canned before.  I’m not a bean virgin though.  So the question calls to be asked, “how have I never made beans before?!”.  I still haven’t solved this problem but  here’s what i learned about beans, well black beans to be specific:

1. I like them alot

2. They make a really nice indigo cloth dye.  I used my boiled bean water to dye some white hot pads and they just need to be washed proper now to see how well it stains.
3.  The insides are white and crunchy like radishes before they’re cooked. Apparently they’re dangerous in this state though . . .  so why do we use beans in preschool craft projects? I mean, I stuck a pebble up my nose during reading time in Pre-K, so what’s to keep a kid from gulping down beans? My solution is not to take the beans away though, but to make the classes smaller.  I never stuck pebbles up my nose when my mom was watching me.  Only during reading time.
4. Beans do nothing.   I keep waiting for them to blow up or grow or something fun like that but they just sit there and dye their water until you can’t see them at the bottom of the pot.  This realization really depressed me.

5. There’s a sweet spot to boil them to.  Mine are best for mushing in refried beans, but they’re still okay for freezing and eating with pasta.
6. don’t freeze in a tubber ware tub.  Yeah, this is a duh, but I wanted to rush off to the art villiage and just froze the suckers. Now I’ve got a large bean cube that I just sculpt off a chunk cook.

Well, concluding my bean episode I rush on over to the art village to finally make some prints.  I mix up my inks and work hard to get the texture I want and then slowly figure out the thickness I actually need.  Well when all this is done and figured out I’m too tired to cut my paper and make everything for ensuring it lines up with the other plates.  So I wrap up my ink in some plastic wrap and put it away for another day.
 My ink is kind of this colour
Now I LOVE LOVE LOVE this colour, but It’s wrong.
>:| I need this colour
see my problem? Well I’m going to make some tweaks to it when I get the chance, but I might just ha

ve to sacrifice for the colour I love more.  No loss really.  I’m not much of a stickler on this project, or most 2D works I’ve ever made.  Except for my Dragon mosaic.  I was annoyingly anal about that.

Well, I walk out of the studio, totally pooped and ready to curl up (in the fetal position) with my Astronomy notes back in my apt.

ITS RAINING.

I bolt through the rain to the painting building

ITS LOCKED

running through the art village my shoes get muddy and soaked, as well as the rest of me.  But I made it. From the main building I dart across campus back to my apartment that’s conveniently located on the furthest possible end of campus from the art village. They rationalize that this is the better location for housing because it’s closer to the church and the Science and English buildings.  Meanwhile all the housing on the other side of campus where the cool people hang out is getting closed down.  I’d rather live next to the theatre than the science building any day of the week.

I open the door to my apartment and  there’s a tea party going on.  My roommate Hannah notices me coming in and promptly informs me I will be unable to sit as every chair in the apartment is crowded around the coloring table. Well what’s a girl to do? Put her wet stuff down and pick up some crayons, that’s what!



I made ariel blonde! It was fun, I colored for and hour, hour and a half, give or take.  Once all the girls had gone i decided it was aptly time to start studying.

I compiled all my notes and all the quizzes and study guides into a condensed 11 page  study guide! It took me until 1:30 to finish it and I totally didn’t get distracted at all by my friend Matt Bryan when he came to study with me.  Well, I go to sleep sunday morning and wake up around 10:30 ish?
but we’ve gotten to sunday!

SUNDAY:

So, 10:30, yeah, too late to be going to 11:00 mass so I decide to go to the Snoozers, Boozers, Losers mass at 7 . . . forgetting there’s a night sky review session then. FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU-

Well I start studying for History.  Luckily all I have to do is refresh myself with the terms because once I remember exactly what Plessy vs Fergeson was about all the rest of the affiliated info came flowing into my head.  This is why I strive for perfect attendance and take anal notes during class.  If I remember it al then and work hard every day studying is a breeze. Unfortunately it still takes time.  And I totally didn’t watch 2 movies at the same time and distract myself with some cheesy bean and corn pasta. (just imagine Winnie the Poo with his honey here)

Now maybe it was a gut reaction to using 11 pages for the astronomy review but I squeezed my entire history review on one page. See? Just-don’t.  I have no idea why it made sense to me to do this. (just ignore the crappy drawing.  it looks a lot better if you lay on the ground and look at it from an angle)

 

around 5 in the afternoon I finish up this list and laydown to relax for a moment.  Alright, relaxing time done.  Time to get ready for mass! Shower, makeup (oh no, running out of eyeliner! time to find a girlfriend who wants to go out shopping!), hair, humidity, clothes, shoes! Well I make it there only to find my friend who normally goes to mass at 9:15 is doing snoozers boozers with me! I have a mass friend today! Lovely~
I skip the liquid nitrogen ice cream social due to MASSIVE lines.  It’s kind of pathetic the number of people who sit by the exit so they can book it out for ice cream every sunday.  Always reminds me about what father said the other sunday about how Catholics love to eat. But it’s true.  Almost every church I’ve gone to has doughnuts after mass for everyone to congregate around and talk and then everyone I know either has or goes to brunch afterwards without fail. (waiting for the sausages to cook sunday morning is torture when you’re starving because you’ve fasted an hour before mass already! MAn cannot live on a cup of tea alone!).  That’s probably why we have so many times to fast.


Interesting fact.  Spaniards tried to get the pope to declare the capybara fish so they could eat it on Fridays way back when.  This made me laugh so much when I heard it.  Some men are just desperate for meat.

Well to get to my title, I decided to conclude the night with this movie called “The Roommate”.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  The freaky psycho roommate killed the cute little kitten! I couldn’t watch! I had to skip ahead! That night no one seemed to come home.  3 roommates and no one was home.  I went to bed at 1! you’d think someone would be in the apt somewhere on a sunday night at 1, but no.  This always happens to me that when I watch something scary my roommate is gone. Last semester it was when I re-watched  season 1 of supernatural (yeah I’m a coward) and freshmen year I was in my mirror clad dorm room after watching something about bloody mary.  This luck of mine sucks.

laurenslatest’s Hasselback Garlic Cheesy Bread


Does this picture not just make you salivate even if you’re not hungry?

Saturday morning I wake up with the full intention of  doing some paper mache but it’s too cold out so I make bread instead.  I’d had my eye on Hasselback Garlic Cheesy Bread for a while now and decided it’d a perfect morning to try it!

Honestly, I haven’t had much luck with yeast so I wasn’t expecting it to work but it did, and quite well.  Thus, I have no pictures.  (It was gobbled up quite quickly)

I made a few changes that turned out very nicely too.

1. I couldn’t get all the flour in the recipe into my dough.  It calls for 3 cups I think I only put about 2 1/4-1/2.
2. It was all hand done, since I have come to dislike electric kitchen appliances and tools so nothing was done with a beater. I kneaded my dough myself, but since I don’t quite know how bakers do it I did it like a ceramicist. So I guess my dough was wedged, if that really makes a difference.
3. I didn’t have garlic butter or a mixer so I minced about half a clove and used two knives to whip it into about 3/4 cup of stick butter. Then I set the metal bowl on the pre-heating oven and it was melted by the time I needed it.  Since it had cloves I used a basting brush and a spoon to make sure I got some minced garlic in all the slits. I also made sure there was minced garlic on the top which browned and was a flavorful crunch.
4. I used Sharp Cheddar which added a nice kick and then ate it with hot sauce. mmmm, tapatios <3

I’m definitely going to try making this again and maybe I’ll be able to have it for longer than a single day too. In my defense I shared it with 5 girls though and totally didn’t eat the largest quantity myself. >____>

My goal next time I make it: Aesthetics.  I need to improve how I twist the bread and get the cheese on there better.  Investing in a bread knife might help too.
I’m thinking this one would be fun, I already have a few similar ones in paring and chef’s so it would match up lovely~

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Chocolate Muffins

I have eaten too many.  My sister shouldn’t have made so many.  I have to self control apparently.  This holds true when it comes to life savers (which contrary to my child hood pronunciation are not the same as light sabers).

 

 

oh one other thing! Here’s a happy Bat sister in her Christmas snuggie! Which, BTDubbs, she said she’s wear to school but still hasn’t yet!