Winter Cooking

Over the break, I hosted my annual dinner party. I didn’t get to cook the potatoes, but other than that, it went well. It was nice to see all my friends again after such a long time.

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The best news I heard coming back to school was that the oven was fixed. (with much help from my mom) This meant that I was able to cook everything. properly. No more flipping cookies for me. No siree. Cupcakes? No problem. Zucchini bread? No problem.

If you want any of these recipes, feel free to ask!

Quick&Easy

  • Pizza: all homemade except the crust.
  • Oyster Egg Salad Stuffed Avacado
  • Veggie Pasta

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Soups

  • French Onion: One day, Liz comes home from the grocery store saying, “I got a bag of onions.” I, thinking she got the usual bag of 3, replied, “Okay, cool.” I. had. no. idea. She got a bag of easily 20 onions. What was I supposed to do with that many onions?? Slowly but surely, we made our way through them. One night, we were hungry, it was late, and all we had were onions. Quickly googling a recipe, we found one. Throwing in some broth, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and a splash of white wine, the main soup was finished. I caramelized up some onions (6 of them) and threw them in. We didn’t have the right bowls, but we did what we could. I toasted the bread on one side, flipped it, and while the other side was toasting, I added cheese. We still have an onion. 
  • Mushroom & Brie: two of my favorite things…in a soup. This was an interesting one to make. We borrowed a blender from our neighbors, and when I turned it on, it exploded all over–all over me, the counter, the floor, all over. Before you ask, yes, it was closed tightly. The lid just happened to have a hole in it. The problem was fixed with a town pressed tightly over the lip of the container. I made this to go along with the chicken marsala.

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Dinner

  • Chicken Marsala

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Baking

  • Zucchini Bread
  • Cupcakes: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate with Chocolate Frosting, Chocolate stuffed with Raspberries with a Lemon Curd Frosting (those disappeared too quickly for me to take pictures)
  • Cake: Chocolate with a Coffee Chocolate Butter-cream Frosting. I made this for my friend Stephanie’s 18th birthday! It was ugly, but boy, it sure tasted yummy. For anyone who’s wondering, yes, that is a Norway mug I’m holding. I needed a cheap mug, and instead of selling Switzerland mugs at the 2CHF store, they sell Norway ones…and goose-shaped ones. Completely normal.
  • Mini French Apple Cakes: I’m sorry, but I forgot to take pictures.
  • Peanut Butter Cookies

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Dessert

  • Bananas Foster: or as close as I could get. I caramelized the bananas and topped with a scoop of vanilla icecream and a drizzling of chocolate sauce (made from a super-concentrate of hot chocolate) and honey.
  • Chocolate Bailey’s Cheesecake: I made a tiny one (seen in the photo) as well as an almost-dozen (11) cupcake-sized ones. Are you seeing the trend of mini desserts? We don’t have a cake tin. For the bread and Stephanie’s cake, I used a take-out aluminum (?) container that held its shape well, but I’m not sure that it heats up the food as well as a real one. So for us, we either make a dozen mini ones or a mangled normal-sized one.

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One tip I have to share: When hard-boiling eggs, before peeling them, crack them and put them into ice water. I read this–probably on Pinterest–and decided to try it out. Last semester, when I tried to peel them,  I mangled them. The eggs here are much fresher than in the States, so they are more difficult to peel anyway. With nothing to lose, I tried it a month or so back. It works like a charm.

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