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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?

Butterscotch Bars

2 Jul

Butterscotch bars are a favorite of Grandpa Bernie.  I made these to see what the big deal was about them, because while I do enjoy the occasional butterscotch morsel or bite, I typically won’t go looking for it.  However, I definitely understood the amazingness of these decadent bars (and it shows, because I made them two days in a row…).  Also known as a 7 layer bar, Grandma Judy’s Butterscotch Bar was a great way to indulge after a long day at work, or in my case, in the lab.  These bars are so rich and so tasty- after just one measly little square, you’re completely satisfied.  ImageThe graham cracker crust bottom holds together a gooey mix of peanut butter, butterscotch morsels, coconut, walnuts (or in my second batch, pecans) and other flavorful goodness (including -ehm- marshmallows). ImageNo need to resist the urge to have more, because the urge will have definitely been fulfilled.  Butterscotch bars will, of course, be added to the Family Reunion Dessert Menu.ImageImage

 

The final product.  Obviously picstitched and instagrammed to perfection… 😉

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.

College and Guac

16 Sep

After being at college for almost a month, I guess it’s finally time to post about my baby kitchen! It certainly is baby.  The full-sized cookie sheet doesn’t fit in the oven because it’s too small and there’s about 1 square foot of counter space.  Not to mention metal drawers that are rusting… But it’s no big deal… really.  

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There she is.  So little.  

Anyways.  The first thing I made (almost a month ago…oops, college has been keeping me way too busy) was guacamole! It was so yummy.  Complete with a splash of lime juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I have to say, making the adjustment from large kitchen to almost nonexistent kitchen has been a little difficult, but I am getting used to it.  I only buy what can fit in our fridge, and always clean up right after I cook.  This system’s been pretty good so far.  Hopefully it’ll be easy enough to keep up for the entire year.

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The itty bitty chunk space I had to work with!

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The final product!  So yummy.  Whole Foods supplied my avocados and everything else that went into this wonderful bowl of guacamole.  

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Did I mention Whole Foods has fantastic chips? Lightly Salted. 

Cake Pops!!

15 Aug

Yesterday, I did the unthinkable.  I decided to make cake pops.  It was actually pretty hard to get them right, and they are quite time consuming.  Although in the end, I felt pretty happy with my colorful, tasty results.  I bought the cake pop mold thinking that I would need it to make the delicious dessert, but little did I know that you actually don’t need these; all you need is cake and frosting and two hands waiting to mush them together (I secretly had fun doing the messy part).  

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Of course, I chose funfetti. 🙂 I only made a batch of 12 in the cake pop mold (I thought it would be fun to use it even though I didn’t need to), then baked the rest into a giant blob (mmm)

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Even though the balls spilled over a little in their mold, I just ended up mushing them into cake+frosting goo.

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They look like UFO’s! Haha

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Post-mushing

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Shaping them into little balls was the easy part.  I had to dip the lollipop sticks into the chocolate, stick them into the cake, and wait for it to harden.  I learned this after I tried to completely coat the cake pop with chocolate immediately after sticking it*.

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Clearly, things got a little messy**.

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The final product!!  Some of them are prettier than the others, but let’s not judge the poor little things. 

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Not bad, huh? 🙂

 

*Note the failure. 

**Note the eaten failure.

Kevin’s Kale

20 Jul

So, apparently kale is growing like wildfire in our family friend Kevin’s garden.  When I heard this exciting news, I quickly claimed a bunch to experiment with.  I remembered having kale chips at the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods one day during the school year.  I decided to give it a go, with a few leaves of kale, a little bit of olive oil and some coarse salt.  It took about 2 seconds to prepare and about 8 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees and it was ready to eat! It’s a nice crispy alternative to unhealthy, sodium saturated potato chips.

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Giant kale leaf!

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After a quick prep, the kale is ready to be crispified.

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The final product.  🙂