Sometimes I make my own English Muffins

what can I say?…I’m a boss.

Here’s the thing; I almost never have bread products in my house. I’m not super into sandwiches so I don’t have a real need for bread…and english muffins are a rarity. BUT…this past Sunday I really wanted an omelette. And, this may sound weird, but I don’t really like eating eggs without some form of toast. It just doesn’t feel right to me. So I decided to just whip some up myself.

Now I’m not super new to this. While I was in Peace Corps I used to make them a lot. So I figured now was the time to give it another go. They’re not technically English Muffins…they actually a tradition bread from Lesotho. But they’re basically the same thing.

Here’s how the magic happens:

English Muffins

-~4 cups flour
-1 package instant yeast
-dash of salt
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 cup warm water

In a bowl put the flour, sugar, and salt and mix it up. Then add the packet of yeast. NOW this is different from normal yeast use…I don’t dissolve it in water first I just put it in. Add warm water (don’t make it too hot or it will wreck the yeast). Mix it up…you’re gonna have to get all up in it with your hands.

Now, set it aside to rise a bit. HINT: I put my bowl into a bigger bowl of hot water (not boiling, but hot from the tap) and cover with a wet towel or cloth. It doesn’t take all the at long.

then separate the dough into balls the side you want your muffins to be.

To cook them you set them in a DRY skillet on high. It helps to cover the pan (helps cook the inside). When brown, flip and cook other side.

set them in the pan and cover

set them in the pan and cover

Over all it’s pretty fast.

Flip them over and cook other side....You can tell done-ness by the browning

Flip them over and cook other side….You can tell done-ness by the browning

Final Product

Final Product

 

Then eat up. BOOM…done and done.

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Take your chicken and STUFF IT…with pesto and cheese…

I feel like I eat a lot of chicken….its pretty versatile and super available (also its frequently on sale). But, if you’re like me, you can get BORED as all get out with it. So I decided to try something a little different to zazz it up.

I modified a recipe I found on Pinterest to suit my lazy level. And it worked pretty well. Also it was really easy.

Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken served with a steaming side of garlic mashed cauliflower

Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken served with a steaming side of garlic mashed cauliflower

So it’s really easy to make this…you need 3 things: chicken breasts, pesto, and cheese (this girl used mozzarella string cheese).

You start by slicing your chicken in the middle (I didn’t cut all the way through…I left one side connected). Open that guy up and spread on about 1-2 Tbs pesto and then layer on some cheese. Close it up and bake for about 45 mins on 350. NOM NOM.

The side dish is super easy as well…are you sensing a theme here?

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

-Small to Medium head of Cauliflower
-garlic
-butter
-1 Tbs cream cheese
-spices (I use Montreal Chicken Spice and salt and pepper)

Start by chopping your cauliflower into small pieces. Boil them until soft. While hot, add the rest of the ingredients and mash/blend (a food processor/immersion blender work great). Then BOOM you’re done.

It’s not very much work and it makes for a tasty meal!

That Time I Did A Cake Decorating Class

So I like to bake. I frequently stress bake (see proof here and here). So when I saw this deal on LivingSocial back in like November for a cake decorating class I jumped at it. (By jumped at it I mean I told my mom I really wanted to do it so she bought it for me for Christmas).

It was 50% off a class at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes. (check out their website here!). They seem super awesome. They were on the Food Network Cake Challenge and everything…so they’re totes legit.

I was really excited about. Unfortunately, the deal sold out before my lady pals could grab one too…so I had to go it alone. But that’s cool. New adventure time.

There was a hitch though….the bakery is in Winthrop….blerg. My city friends are probably just as horrified as I was when I google mapped it. But whatever, I made it work.

I signed up for the class Buttercream Basics. I figured I could pick up some tricks on how to frost a bitchin’ cake.

And I totally did. Things I learned:

-How to ‘crumb coat’ a cake (turns out…that does  not mean coat the cake in crumbs like I thought)
-How to evenly cut a cake into layers
-How to evenly frost a cake without getting crumbs all up in that biz
-How to use different decorating tips (turns out I mostly suck at that part)
-What tools I need to buy to make some baller cakes

I totally Iced this Beast.

I totally Iced this Beast.

This was my finished product. I was pretty proud of it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so parts of it annoyed the crap out of me…like sucking at decorating.

The class was 3 hours and it was totally cool. Shout out to Krystal and Tim for teaching some awesome skills.

However…my cake decorating night ended in a bit of a tragedy. I had to take public transportation back home (about an hour of T traveling) and this is what I found when I opened the box when I got home.

WOMPWOMP. Way to Kill My Dreams MBTA

WOMPWOMP. Way to Kill My Dreams MBTA

WOMPWOMPWOMP. Sad Face. Oh well….it still tasted delicious.

 

And I’m Back! with new treats and everything

So it’s been about a month since my last post. Sorry about that folks…that was lame of me. I had a bit of a hectic month in February. But fear not…I’m back. And I have sooooo much to tell you!

First off….the winter has been so blah. Not so much blah as in boring (which is also true) but more like BLAH why-is-it-still-winter-I-forget-what-warmth-feels-like. I was EXTRA feeling it in early February….so my best gal and I decided to take a super spontaneous weekend trip to Cancun Mexico. Long story short…it was AMAZING and totally worth it. As it happens, we timed it PERFECTLY so we were lounging in the sun doing some restful day-drinking while back home they were getting blasted by the biggest snowstorm we’ve had in like 50 years. So win-win.

Paradise

Paradise

Livin' the Life

Livin’ the Life

But I won’t rub my awesome vaca in your face. Moving on.

February also contains some other landmark occasions: Valentine’s Day and MY BIRTHDAY (which, as it happens, is the day before Valentine’s lol).

I won’t bore you with tails of my Birthday…it was a bit of a mess this year. But my Valentine’s Day was pretty rad. To start I got a beautiful bouquet of tulips from the BF with a adorable teddy bear and box o’chocolates (that came with a picture guide so you don’t accidently bite into that nasty raspberry that is ALWAYS there waiting for you to mistake it for a caramel).

Valentine's Day Surprise for Me :)

Valentine’s Day Surprise for Me 🙂

So I wanted a fairly low-key Valentine’s Day, so the BF and I decided to just make dinner and hang out. So we decided to make a steak dinner. BOOM. Cause that’s what winners do. (ALSO this presented the PERFECT opportunity for me to finally buy a cast iron skillet…thanks Amazon!).

Cast Iron Beast...LOVE IT

Cast Iron Beast…LOVE IT

So the steak was actually SUPER SUPER Easy…You start by heating the skillet in the over set to 500 degrees. While that guy is heating up, you can coat your steak with a little oil and season it up with salt and pepper (or any other spices you’re in the mood for). When the pan is ready (probs like 10 mins later) then immediately move it to your stove top set on high. Place the steak in the pan and let sear for about 30 seconds. Then flip that guy over (tongs work best for this, but I’m certain you can improvise…I certainly did) and sear for another 30 seconds on the other side.

To finish it up, pop the WHOLE PAN back into the oven for 3 mins….flip it over…3 mins. Then BOOM you’re done! You’ve successfully cooked yourself a nice steak (cooked medium).  Stupid easy right?

Look at this guy...

Look at this guy…

So nice and pink!

So nice and pink!

You can adjust the time in the oven to suit how you like your steak…less time for more rare…more time for less pink. The cast iron allows you to get that yummy searing outside and allow it to cook inside as well. NOM NOM.

Steak, Corn, Mashed Potatoes, and Champagne. Feast of Champions.

Steak, Corn, Mashed Potatoes, and Champagne. Feast of Champions.

I whipped us up some mashed potatoes and opened up a can of corn to go with the steak. We popped some bubbly and had a tasty feast.