Hi everyone, I just realized how long I've been MIA for - my last post was nearly a month ago.
At the end of November I was in the happiest place on Earth - Disney World. My immediate and I haven't had been there in a good seven years and I think my mom realized how long its been and how we should never go that long without going. It really amazing (I so want to get married there, hehe - I need $ and a boy first). It was Suzie's (Steven's (my brother) girlfriend aka future sister-in-law) first trip to this wonderful place and I think she was sold on the Disney magic. My mother actually teared up during the fireworks show, she says there's something about Jiminy Cricket's voice asking you to make a wish.
I am so glad to have been raised in a family that appreciates Disney magic, dreams, and each other. We can't help but already talking about our next trip and I can't help but already dream about taking my future family on their first trip.
Going in November has its perks, although it was still quite warm, Disney World was in the Christmas spirit and the decorations were oh so beautiful.
Here's me, my sister, Minne, and my Mom (none of us are looking the right way but it's still cute)
Epcot & Hollywood Studios (which I called MGM the whole time)
I also had the opportunity to go to Hogwarts, which was amazing! & I got to try Butterbeer, which was worth the trip! I'm quite the Harry Potter fan, so we took the trip over for my benefit. :)
nom nom nom
We arrived back in New Jersey just in time for Thanksgiving, because of our Vacation, my aunt took over the holiday and my mom and I just prepared some apps and desserts. I might have some pictures somewhere and will post them + recipes when I find my camera (it's at home and I'm posting this from school, womp) - so bare with me!
I would love if someone could take me back to Disney, I have a few more memories to make and a few more pictures to take.
Happy 11/11/11 - make a wish, I'd tell you mine but then it wouldn't come true. I did try to keep it general so it could possibly come true in any wonderful fashion. Another wish of mine is to be a better blogger - I don't post often enough and I feel like I don't know how to chit chat when I do post.
While at school, my lack of oven/stove/fire keeps me from making goodies and nom nom's. That will totally (hopefully) change when I graduate in 2013 and start culinary school. I actually hope that I will restart my blogging adventure with something new when that time comes.
Have I ever mentioned that's my plan? I want to graduate my current school, pick up that psychology degree I've been hard at work on, then go cook and then become a Registered Dietitian - I really can't wait but it's a bit off so I consume my time researching and researching and researching anything and everything about nutrition and health and becoming and RD. I've read the ADA's website over and over again and have found some inspirational blogs that are written by career changers who now pursue a career in dietetics.
Then I'd like to get a job and find someone to pay for my Masters...or Ph.D. I kind of dread being in school that long (that's something I've been struggling with but I think more undergrad is the best option for starting over at the age of 22 [plus it comes with culinary school], but I do have another year to figure it all out) but I hope that since I'll be learning about something I love, I'll be happy. School has always been my thing, maybe because it's the only thing I've ever had to do in my young life but, I've always been so good at it. However, I don't love school now (I kind of hate it) because its not a perfect fit, not a perfect place for me, and I'm not studying my perfect subject (even if I'm excelling at it).
This plan (& my best friends) is (are) what has kept me going so far in my college career (it's too late just to transfer out now - and it makes more sense to finish in every way possible so, just take my word for it) and hopefully will keep me going during my Senior year. At my school now, (The College of New Jersey) not to brag, I ammm doing quite well for myself (& personally consider myself a Psychology prodigy - if anyone reading knows anything about Social Psychological research, I'd love to chat about it).
These are just some wishes of mine, what about yours? I wish that it comes true.
Speaking of wishes! Next Saturday, I will be departing for DISNEY WORLD - where all wishes come true. I cannot wait, I need a vacation.
I had a wonderful weekend in New York City for my friend Carmela's 21st birthday. We ate at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, which was incredibly delicious. And we saw How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which was really really good and Daniel Radcliffe is just adorable and the whole cast was hilarious and very talented! It was quite lovelyyyy, minus the snow! Since when does it snow in October. It made it most difficult to kidnap Daniel and take him home with me.
Now there is snow on the ground for trick-or-treating, which I get to do later with my little sister Ava (Hermione from Harry Potter), Carmela (& her dog Truffles, he'll be a lion) and Jenna and her son Jackson (who will be a Tiger for his First Halloween)!
This weekend I also made some cookies for a Halloween party, pumpkin cookies - that is, cookies that taste like pumpkin and cookies that look like pumpkins.
Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup with Rice Noodles adapted from Food Network
I'm on fall break from school, which is glorious! I love being lazy and cooking instead of going to classes all day every day. So, I was asked to make a light meal for dinner this weekend and tried this soup. This is a really yummy broth, and shrimp are really yummy, but I hated these rice noodles. I thought they were super weird tasting and had a super weird texture (they did look pretty). So I ended up not eating them, I'd try Soba noodles next time in this soup. I served this with Gyoza (which my mother just loves) for an Asian inspired meal?!
Nothing to do with Asia, but I might be traveling abroad to Italy - more on that later if I ever learn how to write for this blog.
8 ounces dried rice noodles (flat ones)
1 pound medium shrimp
2 quarts chicken stock
6 thin slices fresh ginger
6 garlic clovers, smashed
2 stalks lemongrass (bottom third only, sliced thinly on the bias) (I used jarred lemongrass)
5 shallots, sliced
1/4 cups of reduced sodium soy sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup whole fresh cilantro leaves
juice of 1 lime
Soak the noodles in hot water for a half hour until soft, then drain
Peel the shrimp and save shells for alter. Coat the shrimp in sesame oil and salt and leave in fridge until later.
Bring the stock to a boil with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass then lower the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes
Add the shrimp shells and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Strain the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the shallots and the grated jalapenos till they're soft - about 15 minutes
Add soy sauce and the sugar and salt to taste
Then add the shrimp to the broth.
Turn off the heat and add in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve.
So when I saw these on How Sweet it is, I knew I had to make them. Peanut butter is my favorite and I could probably eat a jar of Fluff with a spoon in a sitting - probably with a spoon of peanut butter in the other hand. Who really needs the bread? Especially when you can replace it with cake!
Ingredients for about 12 cupcakes - I think I made 15
1/4 cup butter - softened 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons of vanilla 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour 1 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder 1/3 cup milk 2/3 cup of marshmallow fluff
Preheat over to 350 degrees Cream together the PB and regular butter Then add eggs and sugar until incorporated - then the vanilla In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients - add half to the PB mixture, then the milk, then the other half of the dry Then fold in the Fluff Pour into lined cupcake tray and make for 15-18 minutes Then let cool.
Peanut Butter Frosting
2 tablespoons of softened butter 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup of powdered sugar 1-2 tablespoons of milk, if needed
Beat together the PB and butter, until creamy - then add the vanilla Slowly add in the powdered sugar until completely combined Add milk if the frosting is too thick.
2 sticks of butter - softened 1 tablespoon of vanilla 1 1/2 cups of marshmallow fluff 3 cups of powdered sugar
Beat butter until creamy then add in Fluff and beat Then add in vanilla Add sugar one cup at a time If too thick add milk, if too thin add more sugar
With a piping bag or spoon or whatever you have, stuff the cupcakes with the PB frosting then spoon on globs of Marshmallow buttercream on top of your cake. Drizzle with melted peanut butter.
I really love Fall. Fall makes me wish I lived in a picturesque suburb or something, where I have leaves all over my backyard. Fall makes me count down to every holiday till New Year's. Fall makes me want to be with family or lets me think of when I'm old enough to have my own. Fall makes want a Hallmark card style life. Fall makes me bake with cinnamon and pumpkin...
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half AP and half whole wheat AP, no one notices that way)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I used about three cups of confectioner's sugar and 3 tablespoons of milk
Preheat the over to 350 degrees
Combine all the dry stuff, so ingredients 1-6
Then cream together the butter and sugar, add pumpkin&egg&vanilla and beat until creamy
Slowly add the dry stuff
Drop of cookie sheet in tablespoon fulls, the batter/dough is quite sticky and the amount of flour in this recipe lets these goodies be really cake-y and still very moist
Bake for 15 minutes.
Let cool then drizzle glaze on top.
then find lots of friends to come over and eat them because they are very addictive! (though not too bad for you, at 2 WW points each).
These cookies were made in a last minute plan not to leave my house and to make my friends come to me instead - can't leave when the oven is on!
I was never expecting them to be so darn delicious.
My mother is the only one who takes it seriously when I ask for criticism on my cooking, I believe these are her new favorite cookies.
My sister is ten years old, the next morning I just woke up and was coming down the stairs and I see her with two of these cookies on her place, microwaving them till they were warm for her morning snack. I thought it was the funniest thing, girl has good taste.
Boil the 1/2 diced potatoes until cooked, drain and return to pot adding the milk, butter, salt, and pepper to desired tasted and consistency; then add the egg yolk
Well, while the potatoes boil away, make the meat filling
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
Salt & Peppa
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the onion and carrots till slightly browned (3 minutes) then add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the ground beef, salt and pepper, break up and cook until actually cooked through Add the tomato paste, chiken brother, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add corn and peas Put the mixture into oven safe baking dish that is large enough for this goodness. Top with the mashed potatoes - like this (I decided to add more potatoes than what Alton says, which means my meat to potato ratio was way off - good thing mashed potatoes have always been one of my most favorite foods in the world).
Put baking dish on a cookie sheet and into the oven for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are brown
I made this bread a week ago, I needed to get a start on Fall baking. I had some competition in the kitchen with this Yankee Candle Spice Cake candle, you probably didn't even notice the delicious smell from the oven over the delicious smell on the window sill. Well, this Pumpkin bread was yummy (though I think I baked it a bit too long and it could have been sweeter according to my Mother).
Pumpkin Chip Bread with a Strudel Topping and Spiced Glaze
These cookies are an adaptation from the m&m Cookies but are more mature, I added about a cup of toasted sweetened coconut and some chocolate chunks instead of the m&m's (which I much prefer), but still have the best cookie dough base.