texas eats

My name is Carolyn and have one year left of my college degree. Starting this January I revamped my eating habits, and this summer I made it a goal to become more athletic. Now to bring back my life style to college.

Dec 6

Warrior Dash 2010

Hello! I’m not going to lie, my mystery post was definitely a segue into posting pictures for the most awesome running experience I have had in my life… so far. I am officially a warrior!

On September 23, I put a countdown on my blog and started a new running attitude.

And then challenged myself with the only preparation I could think of: interval training.

Like any intense race, attire counts, and shirts were made for the occasion. –look at those strong arms—

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12 obstacles, 3.2 miles, in winter weather:

  • Junkyard Jam: we ran/crawled through old junk cars
  • Warrior Wall: we jumped over walls (cause a line of bruises down my legs)
  • Hay Fever: climbed up/down a mountain of hay barrels
  • Walked the Plank: stop running, time to balance
  • Rio Run: MY FAVORITE, knee deep river of ice cold water so intense!
  • Cliffhanger: EVEN BETTER, soaking wet body using solely a rope to go up a wall
  • Chaotic Crossover: crawling on tangled rope, I felt like an awkward spider
  • Arachnophobia: we sort of just owned those strings and worked together finding out way through
  • Black Forest: the hills, oh the hills, no one warned us how ridiculous this part of the terrain was
  • Cargo Climb: Almost there, we see the finish line, climb those ropes.
  • Warrior Roast: UMM jump over fire? Yes!
  • Muddy Mayhem: I saw lots of people get caught in the barbed wire trying to avoid the glorious mud. Embrace the mud, simply embrace.

All in 36 minutes, and top 25% of all female competitors.

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Did I mention free beer? And then a giant turkey leg? A warrior fuzzy hat? And great friends that make the moment perfect?

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Dec 4

Adoration for Agatha Christie

I love a good mystery and Agatha Christie’s work is phenomenal, from her plays (The Mousetrap) to her collection of novels (Hercule Poirot). I remember when in high school going to Poirot parties where a few girls would bake cookies and watch the television series.

This leads me to my own investigation. I have determined that I have leaked any disguise within a few of my posts. I started my blogging wanting to leave things sort of anonymous for safety’s sake, but I feel that I can be more lenient on some things. Let the investigation begin!

First off my name is Carolyn and if you read through my posts you could see what races I have ran and at what time given. From this information you can research online the race, find my bib number, and then proceed to search the photos sections according to the bib number and viola. You have a face with the name.

Secondly, I posted my boyfriend’s flickr, also known as P, and if you were to click on his link… his name is Patrick.

Lastly, my best friend and vegan roommate I mention is sometimes referred to as S. Well just take a look at my posts and notice that a quite personal friend, who happens to be named Sarah, is the sole commenter on a few.

Conclusion, no more P for me and I will post pictures gosh darn it (of me at least). Maybe my readers are excited that I decided this after posting about baking with only an apron

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A picture of me eating my favorite cuisine: sushi! Taken on my 22nd birthday.

Who doesn’t love a good mystery?


Nov 28

Breakfast at noon

It feels good to sleep in. After a light dinner with some serious cuddle time a big breakfast was in order. Rachel’s “Easy Like Sunday Morning Bangover 911 Challenge” gave me the opportunity to spice up some regular old eggs.

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When I was preparing the brie last night I started to carve off the rind, while my boyfriend researched if it was ok to eat. I’ve had it before, but he was curious. It turns out it is perfectly fine and more of a matter of personal taste. So I had leftover rind to incorporate in my morning dish, along with the jam, and the apples.

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I threw in some ham with the brie eggs, some sourdough bread for the jam, and maple almond butter for the apples. And of course, coffee. I felt like a master chef with these eggs, the cheese gave the eggs an earthy flavor, and beyond its price tag I would suggest it!

I’m a lucky gal in that my boyfriend normally makes breakfast. It was a nice change and one serious breakfast at noon.


Brie the ultimate aphrodisiac

Last week I innocently asked my boyfriend what foods melted his heart for some lovin’. Jokingly he responded with: cheese. So here we go, Rachel’s next challenge appropriately titled “For the I Am, in Fact, Trying to Seduce You Challenge” was on its way.

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We had a busy week filled with the typical Thanksgiving events, football, turkey run, and oh yea an awesome brewery tour. So Saturday night was our cuddle date. I really enjoy cuddle dates. With a big late lunch still settling I decided something simple was the best way to go.

My boyfriend is an amazing photographer, and what a better way to celebrate being loving bums than watch his art at work. I watched him take out his gorgeous camera, alter the room’s lighting, and dedicate his time creating the perfect photograph. I know I’m the one who is trying to seduce, but watching him do this put an oversized smile on my face.

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Breaded Brie

Adapted from: Allrecipes.com

  • 1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie cheese
  • Apricot-Raspberry Preserves
  • 1 (8 ounce) Pillsbury Recipe Creations Crescent
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 apple

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2. Slice one wheel of Brie cheese in half so you have 2 circles of cheese. Do not remove the outer rind of Brie. Spread preserves on (the cut side) half of one circle of brie. Make sandwich out of the two halves of Brie, so that the preserves are in the center of both halves. Wrap the entire wheel of Brie with pastry and flip the entire concoction onto the prepared cooking sheet so the seam is on bottom. Brush the pastry with the egg white.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry in golden brown. Serve immediately with wine and sliced apple.

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We then proceeded to cuddle on his couch finishing the wine watching episodes of House. I love a good medical mystery. Couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing night with a man I love and some darn good cheese. It was ridiculously good.

I’m so proud of his photography, he said it was ok for me to post his flickr link.


Nov 17

Cornmeal Catfish with Corn Salsa

I feel so blessed with the love that is given from my family and my boyfriend’s parents. P’s mom reads my blog and sent me this wonderful gift for my birthday; it was a cookbook and I had to try something this week!

P’s parents gave me Cook This Not That! by David Zinchzenko and Matt Goulding. I like it because there is a lot of fun facts to read, and nutritional information is provided. It is nice to look at a recipe and know how it will read on the scale the next morning. I love to cook healthy options and thank you so much for getting me something that is perfect for my needs and fun and colorful!

If you have this book, let me know what recipes you really like.

I decided to go with a southern touch and pan fry catfish (cornmeal is the only way catfish should be fried in my opinion). This was found on page 244. The salsa was a perfect touch, and I never thought of putting fresh ingredients with fried catfish because usually if you get it at a restaurant it comes with other fried goods or maybe coleslaw.

Warning: I don’t have a window in my kitchen and after frying, the whole apartment smelt like fried fish! Fans were going, windows were open, and candles were burning… oh yeah and my vegan roommate was gagging. So note to self, be cautious when frying fish and the odors they may cause.

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What we would have done differently: This was full of flavors! I really liked it topped with the tangy salsa. A better replacement to what is found at a restaurant.

Grade: A


Nov 15

Saturday, in the park

I think it was the 4th of July.

Watermelon, my mom’s peach cobbler, Chicago, and lemonade make my 4th of July complete.

It was time to change things up a bit with the traditional lemonade. I read something about a true southerner would add Jamaica ginger to the mix. A good old prohibition favorite. Considering I am making this traditional favorite for my traditional southern Baptist family, I decided to opt out on the alcohol route.

May I introduce to you my very own

At times I wish my parents drank, ginger spiced lemonade

Ingredients

  • 7 small lemons (1 cups worth of juice)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup worth of crystallized ginger
  • 8-10 candied dried pineapple rings
  • Ginger extract (optional)
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 Sonic route 44 cup of crushed ice ($0.49)

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Directions

1)      Take pieces of the crystallized ginger and use a mortar (awesome birthday present) to make into a paste. You want to make about 2 tablespoons worth.

2)      In a pot, add a cup of water and boil the ginger paste. Remove pot from heat. Then strain to get ginger infused water. Add additional water to make sure it still is a cup of water total.

3)      With the oven on medium, mix the ginger water and the 1 cup of powdered sugar. Let it simmer to caramelize.

4)      While the sugar is doing its thing. Squeeze your lemons into a strainer until you get 1 cups worth of lemon juice.

5)      By the time I was done squeezing, the sugar was done. Remove from heat. Mix the caramelized sugar into the lemon juice.

6)      Pour 2 cups of crushed ice in a pitcher, then pour the lemon juice on top. Add about 8 cups of water according to your taste. Add ginger extract if you feel necessary. Oh and add your choice of liquor if that’s how you celebrate your fireworks season.

7)      Serve in a southern style glass, drop a ginger piece at the bottom and garnish with a sugary pineapple ring.

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Another southern style favorite for the summer season is any type of jelly with jalapeno. A perfect kick to any biscuit.

This is the first time I had made lemonade from scratch, and it was a success. It’s not too hard to do, and a perfect choice for the 4th of July. Another successful entry to Project Tasteless!

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Nov 7

Tippy Toes Fritos

Third week in. Even with a ton of midterm tests, papers, and presentations due (and oh yea and a Birthday Celebration!) I still found time to enter Project Tasteless.

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This week was all about comfort food. And when I think comfort food I think of Mammy, the best grandma I could have asked for. My Mammy was a loud, strong opinionated woman who knew everything and anything and presented it with the sassiest attitude. My hero.

I thought long and hard about this week’s challenge. I really don’t have a food I go to, but I do have those foods/traditions I miss. I’m a southern gal, and when Mammy had her say on Christmas Day forget the Turkey or Ham it was the season to sit down with some good old fried catfish and seafood gumbo.

Actually my mom brought this up two days ago telling me how she hated that seafood gumbo. Explains why we haven’t had gumbo on Christmas since her passing. And proof that it was Mammy’s way or you starved! Again my hero. Why do I have so many picky eaters in my family? That gumbo was good and I was a kid at that time eating every bite. The closest thing we get to seafood in the Holiday season now is cocktail shrimp. NOT THE SAME.  

I had no time to make gumbo. I did my research, realized how expensive it was, and then quickly thought of something else. I associate Nutty Bars with my grandparent’s freezer, La Choy Crispy Noodles as the best replacement of potato chips (I eat them straight of the can), and my grandpa’s secret stash of Fritos.

He kept his Fritos in the highest cabinet and I would stand on my tippy toes trying to reach for the good stuff.

I remember sitting in front of their television playing with my mom’s old childhood lite-brite eating frito pie. My Mammy’s chili was amazing. I don’t have the recipe. So I have created my own.

Step 1: Realize you have too many commitments this entire week and you’re going to have to be creative.

Step 2: Your vegan best friend conveniently invites you to go to the 2010 Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off.

Step 3: Rush to the cook-off near the end of the event and try about 10 different chilies all so drastically different, while enjoying the creativity you politely eat the nasty chocolate stout chili to avoid offense.

Step 4: Steal some fritos and put on top of the chili, and realize that at a vegan event there will not be cheese on your pie.

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(I seriously love the colors in this picture)

Step 5: Take a picture and get seconds/thirds of your favorite booth, which happened to be the winner of people’s choice!

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(The winner: we were told it was made with love when being served. :D )

Step 6: Enjoy!

As a math major I felt inclined to include this amazing recipe as well.

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Proof from my kitchen that I planned to actually make my chili:

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But, when looking back this recipe would probably be better than anything I could of whipped together in the kitchen. I had a great time with some great friends in a busy midterm season. Frito pie comfort food reminds me of a time where all I worried about was if my lite-brite picture was perfect.


Nov 3

Blogging Blues

There once was a time I could play LEGOs for hours each day with my best friend. We could build spectacular things, create crazy stories with our LEGO men, and play for months without getting bored. But there always came that day when one of us suggested a new game.

Next we spent months on end playing Roller Coaster Tycoon. And later in life it became The Sims and then Zelda. I am historically a dedicated/obsessive gamer of sorts. Metaphorically, my game of choice is blogging… and I feel like I’m getting to that day where one of my friends suggests a new game. I’m getting bored; well not to such an extreme.

Maybe I’m confusing boredom with frustration. I read Holla Back Health, a blog about how to blog, and it frustrates me to some degree, because I see what I lack but don’t know how to fix it. It details tips on how to get others to read and follow your blog and emphasizes voice. Well I have a voice; it’s just a boring one. I write like I speak, but I’m a math major with a flare of theatre and this is what you get.

I’m pretty sure if my site didn’t have a generic visual feel to it that I would have more readers. I’m pretty sure that if I included pictures of myself that people could relate more to my words. I’m pretty sure if I just had an about me page or a subscription option maybe people could connect. But the biggest question I have is why do I want more readers?

I started this blog as a personal diaries of sorts. I wanted to document my cooking adventures and keep on track. I knew nothing of other bloggers and never realized that there was a serious population of food bloggers out there. I wrote for myself, and loved it when P’s parents read it too all the way from Illinois. I’m a nostalgic person and blogging lets me look back. I love looking at what I’ve cooked and the memories that go with the story, and I love looking at my running progress.

At what point in time did I want others to read my blog? At what point did I feel like my blog wasn’t adequate for its competition? Is the blogging world really a competition? If it is, then that’s not what I signed up for. Why does it feel like it is one at times though, like a popularity contest.

I’ve determined I’m frustrated and not bored. I feel that I have a good balance in life between blogging and my other activities. I’m working on setting a new design for my blog so I can feel as if I have something of my own (this might take a few months). I will wait for my new blog design before posting pictures of myself and I will definitely have an about me page.

I’m not planning on changing my voice. If it’s boring so be it. I’m going to be me – Carolyn.

I probably broke two rules of Holla Back Health. This post is too long and I quite possibly am coming off as a Nagging Nancy.


Nov 2

Mini Halloween Cheesecakes

Lindsey, from Gingerbread Bagels, has one of the most tempting blogs around. She makes a lot of sweets and then she eats them or gives to family and friends and even donates them for charity causes.

When she posted Mini Halloween Cheesecakes I knew I had to make this. Click on her link to see the beautifully tempting pictures of these cheesecakes. Little did I know this would be more of a challenge than I thought. Finding Halloween Oreo Cookies was ridiculous. I was at Target and searched high and low a few weeks before Halloween, and I assumed they weren’t carrying them yet. Then I was at a Walmart the weekend before Halloween and they were sold out! I asked.

So here I am a few days before Friday (the night I was going to make them) and I literally called four different stores until HEB came to my rescue! That was some dedication for the beautiful orange and black cookies.

By the way: Oreos are accidentally vegan! And we found out that S is not allergic to cocoa, she just doesn’t like it. This has been a lingering question since Freshman year of college. Just because she is allergic to milk doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy her chocolate!

I had a group meeting for a project, five men to be exact, and they loved them! Success!

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Not as pretty as Lindsey’s, but they tasted darn good. I didn’t have orange coloring so I tried to mix yellow and red. P’s mommy gave this stand to me as a gift last year and now it has been put to use! I love it!

What we would have done differently: I did break her rules and replaced one of the cream cheese blocks for fat free (the other was still full fat) and then I did use reduced fat sour cream. Do not use foil baking cups, they stick and tear. Use paper. I will be making these next year!

Grade: A+


Sweet Ginger Perch

I have only worked with tilapia and salmon before this adventure. I think my favorite part about this recipe is talking to the fishmonger (is this the correct term?) and letting him know my recipe said to choose from: perch, red snapper, or grouper. He only had perch or red snapper, i went with perch because it was $3 cheaper. The college way of doing things. I also made sure to ask if I needed to debone the fish. I have no idea how this fish market game works.

I like my 400 Calorie Dinners book because the sauces they plan almost always come out great. For a serving of four I highly recommend using 1/2 cup of orange juice, 2 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root heated on a skillet on top of any plain fish dish.

I found this recipe from 400 Calorie Dinners. Pg 69. Wow it has been quite some time since I have used this book, just realized that.

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What we would have done differently: Since it was in salad form I liked how fresh everything tasted. I think I could of added a little bit of crunch by putting in nuts or my favorite - La Choy Crispy Noodles.

Grade: A-


Nov 1

The Horror! My Birthday Pizza Disaster PT Challenge #2

I hate pizza. I said it. I hate any form of tomato that is not in its natural state. Tomato on hamburger - yes, marinara on pizza, spaghetti, or lasagna - no.

The one pizza I do eat (useful for pizza & beer nights) is Domino’s thin crust double pepperoni with little sauce. That’s it. With little sauce for P’s sake.

So why Carolyn, did you make pizza? This is Project Tasteless and I’m in it to win it!

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This week’s inspiration is based on your current or favorite Halloween costume. Considering all I did this Halloween was people watch on sixth street and decided to spend $25 on pizza supplies instead of costume supplies I based my design on my favorite costume of the past.

Once upon a time there was a “Thanksgivaween” party on my birthday. November 5th. My fellow thespians and I decided to have a double dose of Halloween five days later with the combination of costumes and thanksgiving food. What a better costume to wear than my BIRTHDAY SUIT? (Hi Mom, did I happen to forget to mention this?)

I have one picture hidden away, so hidden I couldn’t find it. Ah the rebellious high school days. So I concocted this visual.

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With a touch of the birthday spirit,

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pleasantly placed on my body. Two for the chest and one for the well uh you know.

I won runner up for best female costume. The first place winner received a naked barbie, but was given to me for irony’s sake.

So how do I incorporate this into a pizza, into a naked birthday version of me? Simple, it has to be pale white (I lack any tan), sans pizza sauce, and demonstrate my tastes and desire for health. OK not so simple. Health, thin crust - check. I’m pale, White pizza - check. Verdict:

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Black olives for a body’s silhouette and sun dried tomatoes for the bows. I love both these things. And by the way I’m turning 22. This picture depicts I have some crazy hips, false advertisment!

And then I tasted it. Now the true Halloween spirit came out. IT WAS HORRORIFIC. This is where my $25 went:

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Never again will I make pizza… well that is if there isn’t another contest.

I’m going to celebrate my birthday with sushi.

What we would have done differently: Order out. Has anyone tried zpizza?

Grade: F


Oct 30

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

All last week I went out every night for dinner. I had a lot of birthday, work, banquet dinners to attend. So last Friday as P was driving from Houston to visit me I decided to greet him with a home cooked meal. I had been eyeballing this gnocchi recipe, but it looked seriously time intensive but I thought this was the perfect occasion.

The recipe is really simple and only involves:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups of whole-wheat pastry flour (divided)

You poke holes into the sweet potatoes and microwave each one for 12 minutes and turn them at the 6 minute mark. Then you scoop the insides into a food processor until producing a smooth paste. You should have around 1 ¾ cups worth, mix in nutmeg (generous amount), and then slowly add (kneed) pastry flour with the sweet potato in a mixing bowl. You add the flour until the consistency is soft and pliable not tough. It will probably take 1 cups worth of flour.

Put your mixture into a gallon bag and cut a hole at the end to make it a pastry bag (1 in diameter). Then squeeze the mixture into long strips on a baking sheet. Let this freeze for about 30 minutes, take out and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Roll them into a ball, toss some flour on the outside and put into a storage container. Once complete wrap with plastic wrap, put in the fridge, and use the next day. Apparently it can last up to two weeks in the freezer. All you have to do is boil these babies until they float to the top of the pot.

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This recipe came from Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito. Page 169. I didn’t include the entire recipe, just the process of making gnocchi. My recipe included broccoli (which I love) and a few other things. But when I google sweet potato gnocchi there are a lot of options out there to mix and match with gnocchi.

What we would have done differently: Add more nutmeg to the sweet potato. The dish with broccoli was kind of bland so maybe mix it up with different flavors.

Grade: B+


Oct 29

Tag, you’re it.

Yesim, a sweet blogger from Turkey, tagged me in a questionnaire game. After a week of essays and late night study sessions I’m enjoying my Friday watching chick flicks with my best friend and finally getting to return Yesim’s tag. 

I have to say the number one thing I love about following her blog is the cultural differences in food styles. For example her last two posts are about anchovies… an item I haven’t had but once in my life. So bear with me trying to partake in her quiz! I like how cultural these questions are. 

1. How many cups of tea do you need before you can function in the morning?
I actually don’t think I have ever had tea in the morning. P and I have “sleepy time tea” at night sometimes. I probably have coffee in the morning once a week.

 
2. Which country kitchen is your favorite? I had to look at Yesim’s answer to try to figure this one out. :D I’m assuming country kitchen means type of cuisine. I love Indian food, love it.

3. How many Christmas trees do you put up at Christmas? My family puts up one at the house, and in my college apartment we have a mini Disney tree. Do other people put up more than one?

4. What is your favorite vegetable? Asparagus! I can eat loads of it.

5. If you were going to send me a present for Christmas, what would it be?
I would send you something Texas cute. There are Texas themed stores everywhere selling all things possible from refrigerator magnets to Texas made candles.


6: Pasta or Cake? Cake. I took cake decorating classes and watch all the decorating television shows… especially when I procrastinate doing college work.

7. If your house was on fire, what one item would you grab from the kitchen to save? My Cuisinart mixer. I did my research when putting down the big bucks for this baby and it makes life easier and allows me to adventure out with more difficult recipes. I do in fact call it my baby.


8. What is your must have to be on the table? I’m trying to think. It is probably a tie between bread and water. Sometimes I do get another drink beyond water and sometimes bread is nowhere to be found.


9. Coke or Pepsi? Coke. Definitely Coke. I know the difference and have been taste tested. I used to drink 2-3 daily but now drink 2-3 monthly. Oddly enough today I was craving it. Diet Coke isn’t the same and imitation or “fake coke” tastes different. It is the ultimate soft drink of choice.

10. What is your favorite place to eat except the dinner table? Bed. I know I know the bed gets messy, but it is just so comfy. Note: once P and I move in together I have a feeling eating in bed will never happen again. L 


11. When exactly is your cookbook coming out? I don’t have a cookbook, but my grandmother made one right before passing. It is at my mom’s house; I should steal it sometime and try something out. The only problem is that the book is soup oriented and I really don’t like soup.

12. What was the most interesting food you ever ate? Alligator, cow’s tongue, frog legs, and well anything intriguing you can find on a sushi menu.


13. Do I have a blogging alter ego? I was told I write like I speak. I’m pretty sure what you’re reading is what you get. I’m analytical, friendly, and relaxed; do I portray this image?

14. Did you ever need to go somewhere so far just to eat something you love? Does driving an hour to a Whole Foods count? I’ve driven a few hours to the Blue Bell Factory for a tour. Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream is the best; Texas bred. I even worked for Ben & Jerry’s for over a year and still maintain that opinion.

15. If you were an animal, what would you be? I would be a domestic one. Sometimes I think about how spoiled my cats are. They are unconditionally loved and are taken care of all times. They seem to have no worries and live for the next time they get petted.

16. Which food makes you happy after you eat? Sweets, all kinds of sweets. I have a huge sweet tooth and the seasonal weather is not helping the cause! 

My tag goes out to anyone who has read this and feels inclined to participate.

 

Oddly enough this reminds me of when I was in middle school and some friends would send an email with a silly picture saying at the end if you didn’t forward the email to x number of people your house would fall down or your crush will never like you back. I wonder if those types of emails are still circuiting today.


Oct 25

Meet Skeptical George

Before this weekend I was a pumpkin carving virgin. It took almost 22 years for me to get adventurous with this big fruit!

P and I started our dreary weathered Saturday with a nice breakfast at a diner and headed towards a local church here in Austin that hosts a pumpkin patch! I saw small ones, big ones, warty ones, and veiny ones. I had no idea of all the options. P and I stuck with the classic orange pumpkin, for this year at least.

Before:

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After:

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He then migrated to my room and is sitting on a pedestal. I live in a cramped apartment, if there isn’t a porch for him to be viewed might as well crash with me in my room for enjoyment.

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The real question is what is George thinking? Something’s going on with that cute smirk of his. P and I coined “skeptical face” in our daily conversation, so it’s a pleasure to introduce to you Skeptical George! **cheers**

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PS his roasted pumpkin seeds were delicious. Perfect touch of fall.

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Oct 24

Cinnamon Roll Dessert Undressed PT Challenge #1

What do you get when you combine Project Tasteless with one competitive foodie and her roommate? A lot of naked fun for a solid two hour time span and a roommate avoiding the kitchen/living area from 9am to 2pm as if it was the plague.

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P was coming into town this weekend. Cinnamon rolls were on the menu for over a week now, but Rachel added that extra step in preparation. “To prepare roll, remove all clothing, put on children’s apron, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in ¼ cup warm water in a small bowl.”

I believe that if you’re craving sweets make it yourself! That’s at least what my healthy instinct tells me to do. I found my recipe from Cooking Light and it is a great alternative to the heart killing options elsewhere. Cinnamon Roll Dessert

I’ve never worked with yeast before, so I found myself making a trip to buy a thermometer. I don’t own an apron, so I found myself lost trying to find a cute one. But a children’s black apron will do (with a tight squeeze on top). I hope Santa gets me a fall/winter festive adult apron for Christmas. hint hint

This recipe took some time commitment, the harder the work the better the reward. Look at all these ingredients!

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Unexpected outcome when baking in the nude: my roommate, while stuck in her room, was suffering from old apartment air conditioning syndrome. It was ridiculously hot in her room but cool in all other rooms. I turned down the air conditioning and froze my buns off. I tried to stay by the oven and bake with my bread. The least I could do for inadvertently putting her in time out.

This was the first time I have ever worked with rising dough, using the kneading tool on my mixer, and rolling out dough on a small counter space. Oh yeah, and the first time I have ever baked naked. This will also not be the last.

I’m so proud of my braiding work!

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Seriously look at that swirl! …with a creamy topping…

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I licked my plate and sticky fingers clean, took off my apron, gave a farewell to P, and napped. (read into my list of events as you please) Five hours baking in the kitchen deserves a nap. P and I had a great time in the kitchen and laughed at random jokes along the way. The directions say to tap the bread to see if it is finished. “Oh I’ll tap that.” He thought it was cute, roommate thought it was strange, and I thought of it as a lifelong memory.

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What we would have done differently: We would of liked to see more swirls. So I should of really rolled that dough out to a thinner consistency than suggested in the recipe. I had a lot of left over cinnamon mixture… I would have liked to use that.

 Grade: A-


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