Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Famiree inspires a post

Hi, everyone. It's CPK. I'm in London for five months studying at UCL and hanging out with Max on the daily. Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I went to Paris to visit Nicole, Lauren, Ian, and my friend from high school Anna. Ian and I went to le Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, a more-or-less abandoned railway. It was really cool, so I wanted to share some pixXx.

Hopefully I'll be able to do a bit more traveling, as classes at UCL end on 23 March, and I don't have my one exam until some time in May. Though very tentative, I really want to visit Vanessa in Istanbul(!!!) and Julien in Frankfurt. I'm going to force Julien to go to Vienna, Prague, and Berlin y/y/y/y/yyyyyy.

adventures in being classy as hale

hi famiree, and non-famiree lurkers (?), i don't know if the latter exist, but if so, hi to you also! if you can believe it, this is my debut on famireetime. i know, i am horribly lazy and this is quite overdue. hi, blog world! anyway, with so many culinary prodigies in famiree i always felt a bit intimidated to post, coupled with the fact that i cook so rarely. unless you count kraft mac n' cheese (WHICH I DO). once, i tried to microwave hershey's kisses in the microwave with the foil still on. in my defense, i was 14, but this may give you some clue as to how much natural kitchen prowess i have. (read: none)

however, i have a lot of free time now that i am taking some time off from school and living in phoenix. i need some projects to challenge me, and cooking is one of them! my friend and i have started a weekly tradition of getting together and cooking dinner, and i've surprised myself how fun and relaxing it is when you have a partner in the kitchen. when i'm by myself i get scared and second guess myself, but more on that another time.

last night we made a delicious flatbread with balsamic, prosciutto, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and basil. spoiler alert: IT WAS QUALITY. really easy, really delicious, and really really classy.

YOU WILL NEED: (for two small flatbreads)
1 yellow onion
about 3/4 a tablespoon brown sugar for caramelizin'
1 tablespoon of salt
balsamic vinegar
some goat cheese
a lil package of prosciutto
fresh basil
2 small flatbreads (we got ours from whole foods but if you're feeling ambitious you can use dough, or make your dough from scratch! we're not at that level just yet)

the whole process is pretty intuitive, but if you're a noob like me, listen up:
cut up yo onion, and heat a medium skillet with some olive oil and a small amount of butter. listen to that sizzle! throw in your onions and let them sit for a bit, then add your brown sugar and salt. stir. let em get nice and brown and caramelized. we let ours sit for longer than normal but that just made them extra sweet and delicious when paired with the bitter balsamic.
wash your basil. get your flatbreads ready! we poured some balsamic on to start (eyeball it), added the onions, goat cheese, and strips of prosciutto. pre-heat your oven to 400 F, and then throw those babies in. we let them sit for about 7 minutes, enough to warm everything up, let the cheese get soft and melty, and the prosciutto crispy and delicious. take them out and top with basil and a drizzle of more balsamic!

EAT AND ENJOY. this is seriously good. and truly easy!

into ze oven

protip: enjoy with wine! we chose a cheap chardonnay from my local sketchy liquor store. see, classy as hale!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Greetings from Turkey

I'm in Turkey for the next few months! I should blog you some food pictures, but that would first require me to take some. For now, here are pictures from the trip I just took to Kapadokya in central Turkey.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Apple & Banana muffins with creamcheese filling

Guys, we said we'd have a fun international friendship experience! Seize the moment! BLOG NOW!
Here are a handful of muffins that I made the other day. Who doesn't love cream cheese? With apples? And Bananas????

3 parts cold cream cheese, 1 part granulated sugar. Cream and roll into balls to place on the top of the muffins before you bake.

Apple Cake/muffin adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups of sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups of shredded apples
2 Tbs of bourbon

Preheat oven to 350, line your tins, whisk your dry goods except sugar in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar, then mix in vanilla, eggs and bourbon. Mix in apples, add flour in 3 parts. Add batter to the tins halfway up the cups.
Add creamcheese balls, pressed lightly into the batter before placing in the oven. Bake for ~17 minutes.

Banana Muffins adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Jacked up Banana Bread
4 ripe smashed bananas
1/3 cup of melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
2 Tbs bourbon (to be honest i was pouring liberally)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup of flour

Heat oven to 350. Mix butter and bananas. Then add vanilla, sugar, egg, bourbon, salt, and spices. Add baking soda and finally the flour in 3 parts. Fill cupcake liners half way and add the cream cheese balls to the top and press down lightly. Baked for ~18 minute.
To be honest, I liked the apple recipe better. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

photobooth update

Two things:

1. Crochet Strawberry necklace I made the other day. I don't, yet, have the balls to wear this in public. But I will, never fear, I will.

2. The newest (and possibly the most practical considering my kitchen appliance addiction) member of the family: the 6 1/2" baby cast iron skillet. Literally the perfect size for two eggs. There will be more photos of the baby in action l8r.