Time. . . what is that?

I seemed to have gotten caught up in the hoopla of school. For the past few months its been a complete focus around passing tests, doing homework, once and awhile home cooked meals with more lesser meals and skipped breakfasts with graduation peaking above the horizon. I haven’t had much time for anything these past few months, let alone time to sit back and read through the cookbooks I got right after christmas! I have comics left unread, books never opened and movies never watched. It seems that I have been sinking in the middle of the pond, waiting for that hand to pull me back up to the surface.

With one more day of classes, two MORE new cooks books given to me by sean for my recent birthday (an amazing surprise!) and tons of movies, books and comics to read I think I am ready for the summer. As I sit down and finish my last study cram sessions, pull those all-nighters and pass out on the couch with sean after yet again more long days, the prospect of completely nothingness filled with cooking, reading, sean and relaxing seems just around the corner. In that new hope comes the excitement for my blog, which shall fill up with the stories of my lazy days, busy beach days, food adventures and photographs because this is after all just about catching the memories in a moment to be recorded from a lifetime for just myself and those who take the time to read my posts on a passby. Enjoy :)

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Adoption and Berries

Winter time seems to be the busiest time of the year. We have the hustle and bustle of school, work, errands and more work and school. Its not like the summer time when we have days off to just lay around in the sun and do nothing. Its seems, however, that there is always something to do. Papers to write, reading to do and no time to relax.

Recently though, Sean and I went out and decided to take our relationship to the next level. . . .yes I mean we adopted a HAMSTER! A cute, fluffy, little ball of fun! We seriously went crazy with it, buying it all these toys and cute accessories for her cage. This little thing (named ally) now stays at seans place (not allowed at mine!). She is the most adorable thing in the world. I think we are slightly obsessed with her and sean is so cute with her. Its adorable how much of a softy he can be!! But shushhh don’t tell him I told you!

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Well for a quick recipe you should try these Mixed Berry Smoothie’s. They are a good healthy snack that fills you up!! Now I do not fancy myself a professional cook, or even a cook. Sometimes I mess up a recipe so badly I wonder if i should ever cook again. I cook often, alot with sean but rarely do I remember to take photo’s of them. You know, your cooking and you get caught up with sauteing, mixing and not burning things you forget to get that snapshot. Sometimes even when you do the picture is simply horrible. I sometimes go to edit them and get on here and have tons of photos I cant even use! That drives me crazy. Now I am not a professional photographer, but i do love taking photos, editing them and all the hoopla. Sometimes it is amazing the shots you can catch.

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So I hope that even if your simply a one time, passerby you like my photos, recipes and randomness. I’m not here to become some amazing famous blogger with millions of hits. Simply a person who loves life and sharing stories. Let me know what you think! I am always interested in other blogs too so feel free to comment and like so I can check out yours!

Mixed Berry Smoothie:berries 2 copy 2

Ingredients:

• 150g frozen berries

• 1 banana

• 1 tsp honey

• 4 tbsp natural yogurt

• 150ml orange juice

Method:

1. Chop up the banana into manageable chunks, throw everything into a blender and blitz until smooth. If it seems a little thick add more juice, or if it’s not quite creamy enough add more yogurt  If you wish remove the berry seeds pass the smoothie through a sieve, but don’t worry too much!

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Procrastination In Its Finest

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I have been saying this every week “I’m going to start a food blog; I’m going to write in my food blog, food blog food blog. . . . .” Whelp. Hello. I have a passion for cooking, cleaning, Guys show Dinners, Drive In’s and Dives and Sean. In a way I want to completely start over. I may, I may wipe clean most of my old posts, maybe save them in my computer somewhere to get dusty, full of cob webs and start a fresh new slate. I think I will. There is something completely satisfying sitting down at the kitchen table with family and friends and watching them take the first bite of the recipe you just whipped up. Recently my kitchen adventures have been complete failures; I have ruined everything I tried to make. When I say everything, I mean everything. However, this past weekend I think I broke through that lull.

Sean and I took one of our recent trips to the mall to do our exchanging of wrong size presents and catch all the after Christmas deals. As usual, we did our normal circle go through our favorite shops and hit the café for Starbucks Coffee and Hot Coco. We always get the same wraps from the food court; I think it’s the only healthy thing there to eat and I can’t even name it! Sean always orders it and I scout for a table. This time we walked through the book store to see what they had going on and you will never guess what we found! Deals on cook books, I think I died. Half off cook books, 60% off and they were all the ones with the amazing recipes! I instantly melted and Sean of course ushered me towards them where I believe I got lost. After spending twenty minutes simply staring in awe, I finally picked out two books that I could not resist owning. The first one was The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook which I shall be posting my first recipe from it here. The second one was A Year Full of Recipes which as you can gather is 366 recipes (one extra for a leap year). I think I have spent the entire weekend reading through them, gawking at the recipes trying to memorize every single one.

As I have said I have got my mojo back in the kitchen! While my kitchen is not the “perfect” kitchen I desire I make do with everything I have. One day I will have that ideal kitchen with all those gadgets to use! I have told Sean a thousand times that our kitchen will be my domain! He can have the rest of the apartment to do with as he pleases. Those cook books are my first official purchase towards that dream. As the New Year sets in and school begins again hopefully I can begin to save up again for that dream and start gathering those gadgets. That is my plan! It’s always good to have a plan and I like it.

My first recipe I attempted was Smoked Cod Chowder. I have to say it was so delicious!! I am not normally a fan of fish but being determined to cook my way through some cook books I was determined to make everything! This is an easy and fast recipe for any night especially those cold ones. With regards to the vegetables, make sure you chop the potatoes into small cubes because it will help them to cook faster. The first time I made this I cut them into different sizes and it added about 15 minutes to the cooking process! Also, while the recipe said it servers 4 I found that it only was enough for 3 hearty dishes so double this if you would like left overs!

step by step

Smoked Cod Chowder:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons salted butter

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Small celery stalk, finely diced

2 Potato’s, diced

1 small carrot, diced

1 ¼ cups boiling water

12 ounces smoked cod fillets skinned and cut into bite-size piece

1 ¼ cups whole milk

Salt and pepper

Fresh flat leaf parsley springs, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat; add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the fish to the chowder and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the milk and heat gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning adding salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into warm bowls and serve garnished with parsley springs.

The Beginning

I AM AND WILL BE BACK! This is my post. One really quick until I have time to write my full post with everything that i want to. I am transforming!! It is official I have decided to turn this into a complete food blog. I figure why not? I have one week left of classes, finals all week. I will have a month off. A WHOLE MONTH. I was think that on my days off i should try and post something, even if I don’t have a large audience (maybe all of 1) but hey you never know right?

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I would like to post at least once to maybe three times a week. If i can do more then hell YEAH! I will hopefully be starting tomorrow (12/16/12).The rules for me? As follows:

1. Post 1-3 times a week

2. Post a recipe (something legit not like peanut butter and bread)

3. Build a audience

4. Always include pretty pictures of the path way and the included dish

5. Have fun : D

This is my plan!! I hope if you are reading this you enjoy it and don’t laugh at me too much : D

Avengers and Brownies

So tonight for the SECOND time I decided to go see the avengers again with sean and his brother. OMG. Now I was at the original midnight showing of the avengers I would like to state. But seeing it a second time?!? HOLY COW! It was just as amazing and totally worth it, spending the money again. I have to say Iron Man is totally my favorite! Now i kno a lot of people are like ‘why??’ cuz man, hes a complete dick! like he has the best lines and deff just has the best personality, plus a super cool suit that goes right through some weird giant monster thingy blowing it up from the inside.

Avengers is and was amazing. Simple.

Last night after working i decided to make Cookie Brownies. Mhmmmm. I saw them on a box once and have made it a couple of times but last night I decided to make it from scratch, both batters. It came out rele good minus the fact that while I was in the kitchen I was so distracted that i kept messing up the ingredients and adding and measuring everything in wrong. It was a complete mess!! but after everything was said and done, i broke the oven (literally i broke the handle) and added way too much brownie mix it was not bad! so if your interested in making these do experiment! especially with the different types of brownie and cookie mix there is out there.

Cookie Brownies:

  1. Take any cookie batter you want ( i used the regular choco chip that was on the back of the choco chip bag). I suggest you make that one first and put it in the fridge. That makes it cold and easier to handle once you need it.
  2. Take any Brownie mix ( I used the Hershey’s Brownie Mix recipe from online ). Make this batter and pour into desired pan after it has been sprayed or buttered, i personally like to use butter i think it comes out better. (tip: don’t use all the brownie mix in the pan because it will rise and once you have the cookie dough on top you don’t want it to over flow)
  3. Next take out the cookie dough and put spoonfuls covering the brownie in the pan. Leave a slight edge around the pan. Make sure to fill in any gaps in the centers.
  4. place in oven at 350 degrees and cook for about 45 to 55 minutes depending. Use a tooth pick to make sure brownie is cooked through (that means the cookie is done too)

Enjoy these tasty treats!

Experiments gone wrong, yet another sunny day

Today’s recipe I owe all to asweetspoonful.com . With out her extremely inspiring page and blog I would have never had the chance to butcher the amazing looking recipe that she posted the other day. The recipe that I will post on here is all hers, so I am giving her full credit for it. I did not, however do it any justice. Sure the bread part of this recipe came out delicious, kinda had a pretzel taste to it. But unfortunately I don’t know if that was how it was supposed to taste or not, but the middle area was extremely bitter and tart. Now coming from someone who can just eat lemons as they are, that’s saying something. I plan on taking this recipe and messing with it, because I will not give up yet. I am determined to make a version of it, prob with cheese of some sort though.

The look of this dish however, did look pretty cool. And I have to admit it was a lot of fun to make. I have never made my own dough before, so doing so yesterday caused me quite a challenge! Especially when I forgot to flour my hands, touched the dough and by default got it everywhere. Now when I say everywhere I mean everywhere. It was a huge mess and i ended up spending most of my Sunday in the kitchen! which was okay after all considering sean was working the whole say so its not like i stood him up!

The final result looked pretty delicious if I do say so myself. Yet looks can be deceiving! I’m not saying that it was horrible cuz it rele was not, we still have another entire one and i plan on taking a bite into at lunch. But it was not as good as it could have been. I’m deff going to have to retry this recipe the moment i get a chance. The rele good thing about this was the ingredients were not expensive at all! I like when i go to the store for recipes and don’t spend $40 dollars.

Here is the recipe straight from asweetspoonful.com . I suggest you check out her blog! It is simply amazing and that is also the reason why i started blogging in the first place :)

Lemon, Herb, and Sea Salt Foccacia
Adapted fromCanal House, vol. 3
Because this recipe essentially makes 4 rounds, I froze two sections of the dough to use later. If you go this route, you’ll obviously want to cut the topping quantities in half (only 1 lemon etc.) For the herbs, use whatever you like and have fresh on hand; I loved the combination of fresh thyme and rosemary although I think dill and chives could be really nice, too. And if you have a mandolin to slice the lemons, this is the best way to get them super thin.

1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups bread flour + more for kneading
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (I used rosemary and lemon thyme)
2 large lemons, washed and very thinly sliced
Coarse sea salt

For the dough, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pulse the flour and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Add the yeast mixture and process until a rough ball forms, about 1 minute. Briefly knead dough on a floured surface until smooth. Shape dough into a ball.

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large bowl. Roll dough around in the bowl until coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about two hours.

Pour a thin film of oil into each of four 8-inch round cake pans. Quarter the dough and put one piece in each pan (if you’re making two rounds as we did, only oil two pans and wrap two quarters in plastic wrap and freeze). Using your fingertips, spread dough out in each pan. The dough is elastic and will resist stretching. Let it rest for 5 minutes or so after you’ve stretched it as far as it will go. Eventually it will cooperate and fill the pan.

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cover the pans with damp dishcloths and let the dough rest until it has swollen in the pans a little, 30-60 minutes. Uncover the pans, sprinkle the dough the your herbs.

Using your fingertips, poke dimples into the dough in each pan, then drizzle with oil so it pools into the little crevices. Arrange the thinnest rounds of lemon on top, drizzle with more oil, and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Bake for 20-28 minutes. Drizzle with more oil when you pull it from the oven.