Posts Tagged 'cooking'

My Winter Vacation

This is what I plan to do with my winter vacation:

1) Read.  But for fun.  Yes, I am a dork.

a) I’ll be re-reading “The Alchemist“, as I tend to do once or twice a year to remind myself of my personal legend and that I’m on the right track.

b) I’m going to try and read “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan, a definitive and expansive examination of the universe.  Like I said, dork.

c) I will NOT be re-reading “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” until after I’ve seen the second half of the movie.  The movies never live up to my imagination.

d) Kurt Vonnegut.  “Slaughterhouse Five” is next on my list.  For a good short, short story of his to ease you into the world of Vonnegut, try “Harrison Bergeron,” set in 2081 where 212th, 213th, and 214th Constitutional Amendments guarantee equality in the most extreme of ways.  Click the title for the full text.

2) Travel.  Hopefully for an internship interview (hint hint, internship deities.  I humble myself before thee), but mostly for friends and family.

a) Going to spend as much time with my long-distance boyfriend as possible.

b) We’re going home together to DC for our first Christmas together with my fam.

c) Then back to his place the week after for our first Christmas together with his fam.  Yes, I’m nervous.

3) Play video games.

a) Snake is on Facebook.  I’m trying to forget this until finals are done.

b) Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale.  If you’re an RPG fan, you’ll love this.  It’s about running one of those leet or fail item shops in the games that have those elusive items that you need to grind for hours and hours to afford but it’s totally worth it.  Did I mention I’m a dork?

c) Install Wine.  Wine is a program that you can install on your Mac or Linux machine that allows you to play certain Windows games without having to partition your drive and install Windows.  FTW.  I’m also a nerd.

4) Eat and Cook.

a) I’m going to make a stuffed, savory pumpkin.  Click on the dish for the recipes.

b) I hate Rachel Ray, but doesn’t a triple chocolate-coconut refrigerator cake sound good?

c) And one of my all-time favorite soups, minus the apricots, is a curried sweet potato soup.  Super easy, super warm and hearty.  I recommend it thick so it’s a bisque-like consistency.  Just stir less of the broth back into the puree and serve with some crusty, buttered bread.

5) Finally, work out.  You didn’t think I was gonna spend a whole month just cooking, eating, and sitting on my ever-expanding rear end reading and playing video games all winter did you?

a) Hip-hop abs.  This guy rivals Tony Horton (P90X guy) in the annoying realm, but the work out looks fun and it’s a nice switch.

b) Insanity.  As in, if I am struck with insanity, I may try this vomit-inducing work out.

And that’s it!  Hopefully I will return to OSU with a fresh, clear mind and lots of fond memories to sustain me through the grueling winter quarter.

Happy Holidays everyone, good luck with finals, and see you next year!


Happy Holidays! Recipes for easy house hopping

The Holiday Season is upon us and oh what a lovely time this is! However,  some are not able to spend this time with family. It is my wish that everyone has a place to spend the holidays, or that they can at least cook a nice warm meal for themselves as they enjoy football and the Andy Griffith Marathon. So I would like to share with you guys some of my favorite recipes. They are great for house hopping in the event that you get invitations to multiple homes, you don’t want to show up empty-handed. If you’d like to see all of my fun recipes for good food check out my personal blog here.

Sweet Potato Pie!
Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins Cook Time 50-60 mins.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 -3 Sweet Potatoes. Depends on their size. But about 1 lb.
  • 1 stick room temp. Butter.
  • 3/4 C White Sugar
  • 1/2 C Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 C Milk. I usually cook with 2% but for this I use whole
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash Cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 Capful vanilla extract
  • 1 Frozen Pie Crust (You could make your own, but really it’s not worth it)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350º after you have boiled the potatoes.

In a large pot, boil the potatoes with the skin on for about an hour. Sometimes I cut the potatoes up to quicken this process. Eventually they will soften and the skin will fall right off the potatoes.

Use a masher or a fork to break the potatoes up. I also like to run the mixer through them to pull out the stringy bits.

Next add the butter and combine with the mixer. Again pay attention to any chunks or stringy bits.

Add all of the remaining ingredients (add the eggs one at a time in another dish first to avoid shells and bad eggs) and combine with mixer thoroughly until smooth.

Roll the pie crust into a pie dish and press the edges into the ridges. You could also buy the pie crusts already in the foil pans. Pour pie mixture into the crust and bake in the oven until firm and set, about an hour. Do the pie test, insert a knife in the center and see if it comes out clean.

Top with pecans if you’re wild and crazy like that or Whipped Cream when you serve or leave it as is. I LOVE it as is and I love it even more when it’s hot!

Right before it heads into the oven

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2008

My Daddy’s Peach Cobbler
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 45 mins

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 Cup of Butter (1 stick)
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup Self-rising Flour. (It must be Self-rising!)
  • 1 Can of Sliced Peaches in syrup
  • 8 X 8 Square Pyrex Dish or 13 X 9 Pyrex if you’re doubling

Preparation:

Preheat oven at 350°.

Put the stick of butter into the pyrex dish and place in oven until the butter has melted. In the meantime, combine the flour, sugar, and milk in a bowl and whisk until moistened and there are no lumps. The batter will be like cake batter, but not as thick.

Carefully remove the Pyrex dish with the melted butter in it (remember it’s hot!) and pour the batter into it. Now you have to move a bit quickly because the pyrex dish is hot so it will start to cook the batter. You will see the butter float and envelope the batter and that’s cool. Great actually. Now take the peach slices right out of the can and place them all in the batter. I try to cover just about every inch of the batter. Then go back and pour the juice/syrup in the batter as well. Pour about half of what remains. Too much and the batter won’t bake properly.

Place dish back into the oven and bake for about 45 mins until the top is golden brown. The batter will rise up over the peaches and look beautiful! Peach Cobbler just like that!

Serve with Ice Cream and have a blast!

And don’t forget about Thanksgiving Breakfast! Before the festivities begin, wake everyone up with this delicious spice cake! Enjoy it with coffee and save some for dinner too!

Breakfast Spice Cake:
Prep Time 10 mins. Bake Time: 45 mins.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 box Spice Cake
  • 1 package Vanilla Pudding mix
  • 1 Cup Light Sour Cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Vegetable Oil
  • Glaze (recipe to follow)
  • Bundt cooking pan

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350º.

Spray Bundt cake pan with cooking spray evenly.

In a large mixing bowl combine the Spice Cake mix, Pudding mix, and Sour Cream. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add those as well along with the oil. Use a mixer and beat until batter is moist. If you don’t have a mixer use a wire whisk.

Pour batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 45 mins. Check the cake around 40 mins by inserting a knife and seeing if it comes out clean. You don’t want to dry the cake out by over-baking it.

Allow to cool about 10-15 mins and then turn the cake out of the pan. The easy way to do this is by placing a plate on top of the pan and then flipping it over. Gently ease the pan off of the cake.

Now drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.

Glaze:

  • 1/2 Cream Cheese Icing
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 Dash of Cinnamon

Place the above ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds allowing the icing to melt. Stir until smooth, drizzle while hot.

You can add nuts to the batter if you like, it’s up to you!

Enjoy! Remember, it doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving or any holiday to have a good meal. Use these recipes any time!

Happy Holidays!

JG*



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