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Busy Bee

25 Nov

The past few months have literally kept me at my busiest.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to keep track of so many things at once- classes, my job, my club, my money, my social life- the list could go on forever.  This past semester I guess you could say I took a mini-break from Soph’s Kitchen… but that doesn’t mean I took a break from cooking!  Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve created in my last few weeks at home, as well as in my “big” [ehm- bigger than last year] kitchen in my dorm!

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One of my best friends came to visit me in July for the weekend.  This ice cream is only a fraction of what we indulged in…

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I made anginettes one evening.  Needless to say- they didn’t last very long.

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I wish I got a better picture of this banana pudding, but it was gone so quickly at the family reunion that I didn’t get the chance to snap another picture!  According to my relatives- I got it just right!  Such a compliment.

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While in Illinois, we went to this amazing chocolate shop (perhaps a little too fancy for the small town??) and I got a caramel inferno truffle.  It was topped with ghost chili powder. So delicious!!

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Back to school now- my roommate and a few friends went apple picking!  It was a gorgeous day and despite going late in the season, we saw this happy camper hanging on one of the trees.

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The most drool-worthy homemade poptarts I’ve ever sunk my teeth into.

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The poptarts and this pulled pork sandwich are from Ted’s Bulletin, in Eastern Market.  My foodie friend and I went for brunch.  Such a good idea.

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Birthday cupcakes from my cousin’s family!  I think I actually ate all of them…

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Yet another foodie experience with my foodie friend.  This time, for my birthday, we indulged in the Tackle Box.  Now, I’m usually a seafood snob and don’t get seafood while I’m in DC.  I do, however, make an exception for the Tackle Box-  maybe it’s because they cheat and get their seafood from Maine! 😉

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A special birthday cupcake from the 9:30 Club!  Love being friends with benefits.

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Aren’t I just the most wonderful God-Big? My dove love drawing skills are clearly superb. Go SK!

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What’s better than brunching at Bread and Chocolate before studying for Organic Chemistry for hours on end?  Maybe some free coffee with the brunch… 😉

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Gospel Brunch anyone? Talk about Southern Comfort…

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Maybe the most exciting eating experience this semester… my friend and I waited a whole two weeks for our reservation at Toki Underground, a ramen restaurant in Northeast DC.  We got dumplings AND ramen because we were just that into it.

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Best. Ramen. Ever.

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4th of July!

6 Jul

This 4th of July, it was extremely hot out.  Naturally, we had a barbecue complete with meat, meat, meat, and more meat (get the hint?).  We had a lovely feast of steak tips, ribs, and sausage along with some veggies and of course, dessert.  I was in charge of the sweets for the evening and decided on a chocolate fudge pie (which was sadly eaten before I could snap a photo) and some frozen pops to mitigate the heat.  

ImageSuch a feast.  We went at it like vultures.  

After we all recovered from our food comas, we dove right into dessert.  The chocolate fudge pie was a success (hence the lack of documentation), but the pops were sensational.  Now, I’m a big fan of pops to begin with.  My friends from school and I love to indulge in Pleasant Pops whenever the chance arises, and I couldn’t help myself when I discovered the cookbook, Paletas, by Fany Gerson.  The 4th of July pops recipe I used, however, was especially favored by Mastah Grillaz (one of which ate 4 pops).  The greek yogurt, raspberries, and blueberries (yes, I deviated from the actual recipe) were healthy and refreshing after a major pig-out on such a hot day.  

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I had a little trouble getting the pops to come out of their molds after freezing them for a few hours.  I read up on how to get the best pop results, and the Paletas book says freezing them as long as possible is key.  Next time I attempt these, I’ll try leaving them in the freezer overnight and see what happens!

 

 

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So quaint- who doesn’t love patriotic pops in a patriotic house in a patriotic state?

Grandma Judy’s Cookbook and Banana Pudding

25 Jun

I have inherited my grandmother’s cookbooks. You may think, “oh how sweet,” but they have great meaning attached to their yellowed pages. My grandma, famous for her desserts, kept these cookbooks almost as a diary. She would carefully label the books with the date she received them, just as she dated every picture she took. She marked recipes with potential cook-dates and tucked away newspaper clippings and other hand-written recipes in between the pages. Of course, whoever gifted the cherished cookbooks to Grandma Judy were also given credit (along with personal notes- birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). Recently (for Father’s Day) I decided to make Great Grandma Lula’s famous banana pudding, in preparation for the family reunion in August. Naturally, I headed to the back cover of the 1965 Betty Crocker cookbook, where Grandma Judy wrote the recipe.

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My Father’s Day endeavor was a great success. In my opinion, it was easier to make than instant pudding! Fun fact: it’s actually plain vanilla pudding with the addition of fresh bananas. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a little while and let the amazing flavor of the bananas seep throughout!

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Memorial Day

27 May

We held our annual Memorial Day grilling bonanza a day early this year. The meal included -a lot- of freshly smoked salmon, ribs (done by one of the Mastah Grillaz), and Madeleine cookies (made by yours truly) by using my handy dandy Madeleine-shaped cookie tin. We nibbled so much of the smoked salmon while waiting for the ribs that it nearly replaced our meal. Never fear though, because the ribs were in fact consumed almost in their entirety- St. Louis style took the win on those, in my opinion.

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Hunka-hunka-smoked salmon anyone?

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The most of Madeleines were dunked in some of the Birthday Cake’s leftover chocolate frosting, but nothing could be more distinct about these little cookies than the fresh kick of lemon zest incorporated into these morsels. Yum!

Lastly, my mom and I enjoyed a nice walk to a close-by hiking spot and reservation. We saw loads of pretty flowers on our walk!

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Food in Instagram

17 Feb

Even though instagramming food is considered socially unacceptable, let’s be honest, it’s mildly addictive.  I get particularly guilty of food-instagramming when I try something new or a masterpiece has been created.  So here are a few things clogging up my Instagram:

ImageThese dumplings were a replacement for ones that I could have made myself for Chinese New Year.  I tried to find wraps for them at Whole Foods, but couldn’t find them! I was so sad.  So I ventured over to the freezer section and picked out possibly the saltiest food substance I have ever consumed.  Mmm…

ImageShortly after eating the saltiest dumplings ever, I went over to my friends’ dorm to watch the Grammys and eat gourmet steak and shrimp kabobs!  Needless to say, an Instagram of this masterpiece was necessary.

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On Friday, my boss and I discovered the Red Hook Lobster Pound food truck.  We were a bit skeptical at first, but were quickly enamored with it.  The Maine style lobstah roll was totally up to par with my -elitist- New England lobstah palette.

Food Carvings

27 Jan

For Christmas, I was lucky enough to get a nice ceramic knife and cutting board (small enough for my pathetic square footage of counter space). This week, I was excited to go to package services to grab my box full of kitchenware! I even waited in line for a good 20 minutes because let’s be real, package services sucks more than anything. I decided to wait until I went grocery shopping by work –which was an affordable success!– so I would have some fresh pickings to chop up. Needless to say, the knife served its purpose elegantly. And the cutting board literally fits perfectly in front of my microwave. 🙂

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Food Cravings

24 Jan

Why is food so expensive in DC? Maybe it’s the organic, well-lived, happy spirited vegetables that the grocery stores are stocked with, maybe it’s the ridiculous amount of sales tax citizens of the District have to add to their food bill.  Regardless, I’ve been craving some nice home made meals and I haven’t found time to go grocery shopping (this full time student, part time 9-5er.. well 9-2.. gig has been keeping me rather busy).  Tomorrow I will be going grocery shopping at a Giant that’s essentially attached to the building I work in!  Instead of $2.50/lb for apples, it’s $1.50/lb.  Gum is about 50 cents cheaper there, and I’m sure rewards cards are available for even more life/money-saving deals.

In the mean time, I’ll be drooling in my dreams over my last meal at home- a goose pot pie courtesy of Grillaz (omg) and jiao jiao.

ImageMy palate always welcomes savory pie

ImageA favorite of mine.