Picture update!

So over the last few months of my non updating I have been up to a few things.

Including an AMAZING trip to Las Vegas to see Lady Gaga. We also saw “Love” the Cirque Du Soleil show and it was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. Not only did it reignite my love for the beatles, but it was so wonderful that I insisted we see it again. The food we ate was so delicious! It was such a great spur of the moment trip, I still cannot believe it happened. I also fell in love completely with one of the performers in the cirque show. Sad that he will never know it! (If you ever see it, the guy with the flowers /swoooooooooooon!!!!)

Covered in streamers from the end of the Love show!

We hit up the Bellagio buffet and check out our dessert haul, hah!

Lady Gaga was one of the most amazing concerts I have seen or will ever see, hands down. It was like a crazy amped up theatrical performance, I loved it! ย She also said how much she loved her fans about 50 times and it made me love her even more.

our VIP tickets were so great! ๐Ÿ™‚

We also ate at the most A-MAZING burger place I have ever tasted called BLT Burger. Omg. If you are in vegas, go to the mirage and eat there. The burgers are to die for, as are the milkshakes and the sweet potato fries. Nothing was bad! Oh my. We ate there twice!

Such an amazing trip! Though we didn’t win big at all, which was upsetting. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

 

We did see a guy walk right into a fountain and start stealing change….we named him Water Coins. Hah!

 

Since then there has been a lot of fantasy football (my team BLOWS), lots of sleeping over at Kevin and Alex’s house, and lots and lots and lots and lots of homework. Planning to go to a great grad school I’m super focused on my grades so I’ve got lots of work to do always. Sadly this makes for not a lot of cooking time ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

 

I’ve also taken to absolutely hating my face-greased iphone 3G because it is the SLOWEST most awful phone ever. It keeps freezing and not loading anything about 50% of the time.

 

I may just smash it.

 

I’ve taken to using my amazing Love blanket I got in Vegas. ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t decide what to get at the store but decided on a throw at the last minute because I’m perpetually freezing.

 

The same BFF of mine that got me the awesome lady gaga seats also got me a ticket to a great Rays/Angels game. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s pretty freakin fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚ And he’s supposed to be here at the end of the month! I’m so excited!! I hope he has fun here in the O, we have plans for Universal and lots of movie watching!

 

The family next to me left when the Rays were down in the 6th.

Ahaha, my mouth looks crazy! I love it!

My moms chickens are also starting to lay eggs! Our fridge is filling up! She’s super excited. She actually just got 10 more chicks that lay fancy eggs. By fancy I mean they are dark chocolate brown eggs and sell for some serious $$.

 

Since a few months ago when I started using our cast iron pan to start seasoning it my Dad took an interest in it. Then when I made my restaurant steak he got REALLY interested in it and wanted to get some more pans. He took a trip with my mom up to North Carolina a weekend or two ago and they had a mission to find used cast iron pans at a flea market. They ended up finding quite a few and brought 3 back home in different sizes. Super exciting! They learned a lot about which ones are the best to get and which are the oldest American made ones and also how to tell if they weren’t made in America.

He’s really excited that one of the pans, which was really rusty, needed to be scrubbed and seasoned so he did that tonight.

 

The boys were really interested because of the...

Lard! Yum.

 

Phew! I think I covered mostly everything. If not, c’est la vie. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s great to be back, my darlings.

Restaurant Steak

Hello, beauties! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have spent my day redoing so many things on my computer because I had to format on a whim the other night. Thank you, pop up ads! But everything is fine and I didn’t lose anything (that I know of…)

So after the chocolate pants cake fiasco the other day, I haven’t tried baking anything. I have been cooking delicious meats! Since my Mama is out of town I’m in charge of feeding the Papa bear so I’ve had a bit of leeway with cooking this week. I don’t mind cooking for myย Mom at all, but it is easier to cook for 2 thanย 3. You don’t have to double recipes and other things.

ย I have a brine for porkchops that is seriously to die for, I’ll make a post on that soon. This post is about steak ๐Ÿ™‚

Last year, Adam of The Amateur Gourmet posted a link about making the perfect steak. I’ve been dying to try it and finally gave it a whirl tonight.

Two things to start off with:

  • I did not use a New York strip steak, those are astronomically priced so I just cut up a sirloin we were going to use.
  • I would probably triple the amount of seasoning I put on as I didn’t get a “crust” on my steak like I was supposed to.

Get your steaks out, your seasonings ready (salt and pepper), a cast iron pan (or any pan but get it very very hot, but preferably cast iron or stainless steel), and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Also take out 2-3 tablespoons of butter per steak and 2-3 cloves of garlic per steak. You will also want a few sprigs of fresh thyme, however, I had none!

Once your steak is cut up (or if you bought it pre-cut), time to season!

According to the video, you’re supposed to use pepper that is not finely ground and then top it with salt. This keeps the pepper from burning.

As you can see, I went really light on the spices. Should have been a bit heavier. Primarily cover the large sides and any that has spilled around the steak, roll the sides of the steak in.

Now here is one of my biggest tips I have learned so far in my short jaunt into cooking: cast iron rules. So get yourself one ASAP! I use my pan for so many things, it works so well. Lodge is my favorite since it’s made in good ol’ Tennessee and has been for over 100 years.

Now, Make sure your pan is scorching hot*. You want the crust to happen so everything needs to carmelize and create that very quickly.

*A friend of mine just tried this and says I advise it should not be scorching hot. So make it very hot! I don’t want you burning your house down. ๐Ÿ™‚

After your pan is hot enough, add some oil (I used olive and I think I put a bit too much.)

Once your steak has sizzled for a few minutes, check it to make sure the crust is forming. Since mine didn’t really form one because of not enough seasoning + too much oil, I jus waited til my fat started to turn golden brown, then flipped.

This looks more like pork than steak! Woops ๐Ÿ˜‰

ย 

While the other side is sizzlin’ make sure you tip your pan and use a spoon to ladle and baste some oil to the top of your steak since it’s about to go into the oven.

Remove from the heat and place your butter, garlic, and thyme into the pan. I felt like there was too much oil so I drained some of it before I put the pan into the oven.

ย 

Also, I love butter. So…I used 3 T for each steak ๐Ÿ˜‰ mmmm. Cholestorol!

Check until the meat feels a little firm if you want a medium rare steak. It took me 6-8 minutes to get mine perfect.

Shiny steak is delicious steak ๐Ÿ™‚

Not usually. I have never thought that before but hey…I’m sellin ya on this!

ย 

The steak, despite my failure at making a crust, tasted freaking awesome. If I had made a crust and had the thyme in there, it would have been freaking fabulous. I really cannot wait to try it again now that I know what I did wrong.

One of my main problems is that I’m really worried I’m going to over season something. It gets scary sometimes! I don’t want to add too much salt! But on the other hand…I could care less about adding too much butter ๐Ÿ˜‰

I really wanted to have time to make another recipe post, Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run just posted a cookie recipe that has 14 tablespoons of butter in it and I swear to God I swooned when I read it. I’m also remaking her chicken and biscuits recipe soon for my Mama once she is back in town. So there’s two things to look forward to! ๐Ÿ™‚

As for this weekend, I have 2 VIP Lady Gaga tickets to use! One of my best friends surprised me with them and I had to throw together an impromptu trip to Las Vegas at the end of last week. Two of my best friends here were able to make it work to come with, and it works out because Alex is the biggest Lady Gaga fan I know! ๐Ÿ™‚ Huge post on that when I get back (or possibly while I’m there?), and a huge post on the buffets ๐Ÿ˜‰

Chocolate Pants Cake

Intrigued by the title? I sure hope so!

So remember a few posts ago (I tried to find it to link it but alas…I cannot! I type too many words per entry.) I told y’all I would be documenting my cooking triumphs and failures?

Well, I have another failure for you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It seems like I post those more than I post triumphs! However, I think it’s more fun this way. I’m still learning! I know a lot of others out there in blogger/internet world are, too. I also know that I get frustrated and scream to the heavens (in my head) that these people who wrote the recipes never had to deal with these failures!!! Why me!?!?

Which of course we all know is false. Still. I wonder it.

Onward we shall go with my tale of chocolate pants cake.

The other night I was in my amazing google reader and I saw that Smitten Kitchen had updated. Now, I love that blog. It drives me to go bake things all of the time because her pictures are beyond amazing and she is so fun. So, she posted a wonderful chocolate cake recipe and I was amazed that I had the book she had gotten the recipe from! Hooray, so exciting!! So I vowed to make it the next day.

Her directions are very simple and require a very small amount of dishes so I was even more pumped up. That’s my least favorite thing about baking.

So here I am, mixing my ingredients, looking smug about how great the batter tastes and how it’ll be done before it’s too late in the evening.

Also smug about the batter I got on my counter.

I popped it into the oven and was ready to kick back for an hour when I realized….I forgot to add baking soda.

Well, poop.

Quickly, I whined to my Papa who told me to toss it and start over otherwise I’d just be more upset.

Onto cake numero 2!

Added everything!

Kicked back.

Chilled.

Wondered to myself “I wonder why the middle isn’t rising? Oh well. It will, it’s only been in for 30 minutes.”

Wondered again “There’s only 15 minutes left and it’s still not rising.”

Papa says “Your cake fell.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I cried. (In my head)

And this was the result.

๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Sinkhole Cake

How upsetting!

I thought maybe I could get away with frosting it and covering the hole.

My cat judged me.

To the icing!!

See?! You can’t even tell. Kind of. Just that it bends a bit with the plate. Hrrm.

The foundation is crumbling!

Now, just because a cake doesn’t rise doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good! This cake honestly tastes like rich brownies and I’d recommend baking it. However, mine cooked a little too long because my oven runs very hot. So keep a check on it after about 40 minutes.

And if your cake falls and you cover it in icing then eat a piece? Be prepared for a plateful of chocolate cake pants. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I really am the worst blogger ever.

I started this blog with full intentions of updating it ALL the time. But Iโ€™m awful at it!

So this entry willย  be bulleted and nice and hopefully return us to our regularly scheduled blogging. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Donโ€™t mind my cell phone picture updates!)

I would like to start by announcing that I am 100% debt free! Wow! ๐Ÿ™‚ Very proud moment for me and Iโ€™m so psyched about it. I should be able to complete my undergrad schooling with no debt accrued. Hopefully the same will be true with grad school but weโ€™ll see. That can be quite expensiveโ€ฆeeep!

I had an amazing 4th of July with some of my very best friends!! A few were missing like our friend Jimmy but it was still lots of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

I bought a Macbook Pro and took a trip to Miami with a good friend who was in from Las Vegas. Heโ€™s best friends with me and my best friend Sara, who lives there! So him and I ventured down there after I picked him up from the airport. It was super fun! I wish she didnโ€™t have to work so much but it was still worth it.

We ate Primanti Bros! Itโ€™s a restaurant that is always and forever on food countdowns that are on TV so we made a point to go. The pizza was to die for and the sandwiches were pretty fantastic. I could definitely go there for pizza alone!

The day we were leaving I cooked them croque-madam with a different recipe. I made a cheese sauce to go on the top layer of bread and used a strong swiss cheese. Sooo worth it! It came out fantastic!

Came home and worked on a project for my Oceanography class. Good thing I live on a lake. ๐Ÿ™‚

Returned the Macbook Pro and am now having a vendetta with Apple.

Upgraded to a really amazing lens (24-105mm)ย on my camera and got a separate flash. Iโ€™m in love.

Loved my pets, wore uggs in the dead of summer since Iโ€™m always freezing, covered my bike in towels because Iโ€™m an exercise slacker, was judged at a distance by my cat, been grossed out by my medical coding book,ย and came to terms with the fact that my cat has quite a large belly that probably will never get smaller.

Got my electrode machine in the mail and am addicted beyond belief. So much foot pain relief.

For BFF Saraโ€™s birthday I took another trip down to the M-I-A and baked her a chocolate pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese icing.ย Ate a huge burger with 2 eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon on top. Made a pulled pork and cornbread dinner for the two of us and had a wonderful night with Miss Sara setting off sparklers.

Found out Iโ€™m getting an A in Oceanography, very excited!! ๐Ÿ™‚ My GPA goes up to 3.64 once the grade goes in. Studying for the GRE in preparation for UNC applications a year from now.

Saw Inception 4 times. I’m in love.

and I am completely obsessed with the new Hanson album.

Check it out. It’s fabulous!

And that concludes the last month of my life. Relatively…:)

Chicken Pot Pie (Attempt #1)

A few entries ago I was gushing about my love for Nigella Lawson and how I wanted to make her chocolate cake. I spent way too much time hopping through youtube watching her make things until I came across a video of her making a chicken pot pie. She made it in about 15 minutes! Oh, this solved my problem. I have been dying for a simple pot pie recipe because, friends, pot pie and I….we have a love. A love that is thick like gravy.

Needless to say I was thrilled! I immediately started making sure we had everything I would need to prepare this masterpiece.

Above is the video I watched of Nigella, the recipe on the food network site is a little different but essentially the same.

I altered the recipe a bit with what I put in (mushrooms are gross!) and because I had to triple it to make enough for my parents and I. My alterations are in bold!

  • 3 rashers streaky bacon, cut or scissored into 1-inch strips (5 strips)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic infused oil (I just used olive oil and later added garlic powder)
  • 2 cups chestnut mushrooms, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (I used carrots and broccoli)
  • 8 ounces chicken thigh fillets cut into 1-inch pieces (3 chicken breasts)

From here I just tripled the ingredients.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/4 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Marsalaย (didn’t use)
  • 1 (13-ounce) 9 by 16-inch sheet all-butter ready-rolled puff pastry (I used regular since, then added butter)

Now, I’m not going to lie. My attempt was only okay, but my goal is to take y’all through with me on my good and bad ventures of cooking here. I know how frustrating it can be when you follow directions to a T and you end up with a result that is not what you thought it would be.

Time to begin!

Preheat the oven to 425, put your pot (or pan, I used a pot given the size of mine) on the heat, add your oil. Once your oil is heated add in your bacon.


Take your chicken and add it into a ziploc bag. Add your seasonings along with all of your flour and shake shake shake it up! I added some pepper and onion powder at this point, along with thyme.

Since I’m new…bear with me! I forgot to take pictures of a few steps ๐Ÿ˜‰

Add your butter into the pan and make sure it melts completely.

Then dump the contents of your chicken/flour bag into the pot, including all the flour left in there! That is helping to make the “gravy” part of the pot pie thicker. (Also called a roux)

Add in your vegetables! ย I had a rude awakening at this point. I was going to add a bag of frozen peas and carrots but my Papa had neglected to buy them! So I had to scramble and find some veggies. Carrots and broccoli were there to save the day!

While your chicken is starting to cook and get some color put your chicken stock into a pot and get it hot. Once your chicken has some color add in your stock. Stir!

At this point, because of the roux you have going you should have a creamy thing going on in your pot.

I added some more flour to get it a little creamier (although it ended up still needing more thickening.) I also added some more spices. Onion powder, garlic powder, some herbs. Except…I accidentally took the whole cap off of the onion powder and dumped about half the bottle in, HAH!! Lucky for me I had a ladle on hand and it didn’t get absorbed super fast.

Continue… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let this simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Remove it from the heat then ladle it into your dish of choice.

Now, take your pastry dough and unroll it. Cut strips that are thin to cover the outside of your bowls or dish. Dip your finger in some water and slide it along the areas where you are going to put your dough. This helps it to stick.

After you’ve done this, take the remaining sheet you have and lay it over the top, pinching the edges to make sure it stays in place. I had to use 2 different sheets for mine, to make sure it was covered. You’ll see the line on my pie ๐Ÿ˜‰

Into ze oven!

Now, it was at this point that I forgot I was going to add butter to the top of it to make it all deliciously golden and to add some flavor. Standard puff pastry dough is rather boring. So I scrambled and slathered it with some butter after it had been in the oven for 10 minutes :X

Cook for about 20 minutes, or until your pastry looks full and risen. It burns easily so watch out ๐Ÿ™‚

Voila! Pot Pie!

Scoop out large delicious portions and proceed to gobble up.

Now. For my feeback. I’ll do this in a list.

  1. Puff pastry is a pain in the ass to cut through so I recommend individual portions/bowls. Then you are able to just mush it into your own bowl. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  2. Make sure your bacon is crispy before continuing with the steps. It seems like common sense but I assumed it would cook more as it was on the heat. It stayed pretty pink and never got crispy so I ended up with these bacon chunks I was too scared to eat.
  3. Add some friggin onion. That would have made this dish so so so much better. In every other recipe I see there is onion added and this one did not have it.
  4. Next time I would consider cooking the chicken in a separate pan and then adding it into my pot. It absorbed almost all the seasonings that I put into it and therefore my pie came out so bland. Adding salt when it was plated fixed it pretty well but still. I sucks to have to see people add seasonings to your food!
  5. It should have been creamier. Goopy, even! This was still pretty soupy. It wasn’t oozing around on my plate like I would have liked it to, so I probably would have added a bit more flour or even some corn starch. Xanthan gum is supposed to work as well but I’ve never attempted it.

Overall it wasn’t a bad experience as it was my first one ever making a pot pie. I can’t hit every nail on the head when I make something for the first time unless it’s cornbread or pulled pork. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’d give it 2.5/5 stars. I’m halfway there! I just don’t expect to get all the way there til it’s a wee bit colder and a pot pie is a welcome thing to eat ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, life.

So, I’m finally carving a big, fat, completely paved, all signs go in this direction path in my life. It’s lovely, amazing, refreshing, revitalizing, and wonderful.

For months upon months I have been trying to figure out the best way to go about doing what I want to do and it has never been quite solid for me because I did not like the options that I had available, nor did I think they were doors that would be open to me. In January of this year I met a wonderful girl named Sara, who smacked me right in the face with the perfect career that she had chosen as her own, as her current major. I was instantly intrigued and could not believe that for so long it didn’t even pop into my brain as an idea! She is such a great and interesting person, with interests so similar to mine it makes me wonder how we don’t spend more time together, that I looked up what she had told me on our coffee date as soon as I got home. Library science. Perfection is what it should have been called.

How fitting it is, for the girl with piles of books everywhere around her room and stashes of them in the attic. The one who used to sneak reading in during bed time when she was little by a night light next to the mattress (only to be found the next morning by her mother asleep in a nook against the wall, face smashed into a book), reader of encyclopedias when running out of things to read, to be a librarian.

So! I have been thinking over this since January. About the one and only time I visited the National Archives in D.C. and many of the libraries there and how I had an INSANE spaz attack at being inches away from the Declaration of Independence. (Pictured below ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) How I would love to work with those things every day of my life.

My hair is short. I had a fashiony mohawk at one time.

And I thought. And thought. And thought. Until this past week when I was thinking of grad school and how I want to be there by the time I’m 25, which gives me 2 years to finish up my business here and get my bachelors done. I was excited! I’m so thrilled to be reaching a halfway point that I began to search. I searched for the best graduate schools and their rankings, looking for ones surrounded by museums. I purposely skewed my own search results to make myself end up in Washington, D.C. so that I could be close to plenty of them. I knew I was skewing them.

I declared a school in D.C. my goal and was proud! But I knew I had skewed it. I looked at their graduate rankings for Information and Library Science and they were nowhere near what my other front runner had to offer. They had museums. This other location has a big fat library with an amazing archives section. It stole my heart away when I looked with fresh eyes.

I didn’t want to leave the south, I’m too in love with it. This school is there. My parents own property across the state. This school is there. It’s been #1 for 8 years in that major. This school is IT! Say hello to my big, fat, new obsession:

IN LOVE, with this place. I am head over freaking heels in love with Chapel Hill, NC. The school, the town, the scenery, the fact that wisteria grows along the streets in the spring, every bit of it.

So my plan now? Work my ass off and make sure I study my ass off for the GRE exam and get my ass into that grad school. I am consumed with the desire to get into this school, it is the only thing I am thinking about and every action I take will get me there.

No coincidences! I firmly believe I was meant to meet Sara and she was meant to steer me towards this goal and I will be grateful for it til the day I die. Hooray!

It feels so great to type that. It feels so great to have a goal!! It’s completely changed my views of what I’m doing. In light of that, I have started working out with the lovely Sean! Sean is someone who practices crossfit, an awesome workout that utilizes and maximizes what the human body was meant to do. It works out your full body every time you do it and you do actions that you use in every day life. That makes it sooo much more appealing!

What makes it unappealing: the fact that I am in utter AGONY today and can barely stand because my muscles lock up. It’s the price I pay for a sexy butt, HAH! It was fun though, I’m very excited. Sean is a great trainer. When my legs physically would not let me continue doing squats (I seriously could not lift myself up, the front of my thighs had turned into jelly) he altered it to have me do sit ups, which I gave everything I could. I was really worried he’d think I was faking to get out of doing squats so I’m glad he gave me an alternate to prove to him I was serious.

I definitely recommend crossfit workouts ย ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh yeah, I totally got sick while we were doing it. Soooo not fun. That means it’s working though! YEAH!

Another plus (almost) is that I might be getting my very own dog! I’m so excited! As part of my no coincidences philosophy of life, when my mom called about a week ago and told me my dad might be bringing another dog home, I was baffled since we have so many pets. Then she told me it was a german shepherd. I have been telling her I want one of those for years and years and that when I move out I want to have one. Since I’ll most likely be living alone I want to feel safe and to me a dog would add to that feeling. I couldn’t believe it! Someone my dad knows has a customer who is too old to take care of a big dog and doesn’t feel she gives the dog what it needs and she loves that we live on 16 acres and love animals.

The plan as of right now is to have me go visit and spend time with her and build up a relationship with her so that I can bring her home and be “in control” of her and be her master when we introduce her to our other pups. I’m getting all this from Cesar Milan, people. She is A-DORABLE. I’m in love. Two loves in one week, I may just die.

Isn’t she so cute!!? Her name is Bella. Awww. I think she’ll fit right in when I move to NC ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I am promptly watching 2 seasons and 1 special of the dog whisperer to make sure she comes into the house without much trouble!

I plan to post my pot pie attempt tomorrow and my tips on how to make it so yours doesn’t suck like mine did. Also my tips on how to make chocolate croissants even better. ๐Ÿ™‚

Other recipes to come soon:

  • Home made carrot cake a la Peas and Thank You (mine wont be vegan though)
  • Zucchini fritters a la Runners World (even though I made cakes before)
  • Healthy open face turkey sandwich
  • Bruschetta a la Julie and Julia ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Granola bars from a yet to be determined location!

If you have anything you’d like me to make, let me know! I’m willing to try anything. So if you have a recipe you’re too scared to make, tell me! I’ll post it here and tell you my results, good or bad ๐Ÿ˜€

Obligatory cat shot. Lou is on the hunt!

Awful Blogger 101 and Croque Monsieur

I’m terrible at this. Maybe because I just started it? It’s been 10 days since I last updated and I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing almost the entire time.

Bones!!!

BONES!

Yes. Bones. I am utterly and shamelessly addicted to David Boreanaz and his delicious banter about crime scenes. Addicted. I cannot stop watching it. Thankfully I’m almost finished with the 5th season otherwise I would literally get nothing done.

In between, of course, I have been cooking things! I’ve made about a handful of tasty treats that I want to post all in this one entry but I figure that would be an overload so I’ll just pick one….maybe two…but I should save some for entries later on so I keep updating regularly, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

My birthday dinner was also absolutely wonderful! P.F. Changs is my favorite place to eat on my birthday! We loaded up on everything and even got two desserts ๐Ÿ˜‰

PF Changs!

PF Great Wall of Chocolate

The other dessert was cheesecake. Yum!

As for non food things, remember that digital photography class I was oh-so-excited to take? Well, in living my life by the “there are no coincidences” theory, I dropped the class.

Reason being?

  1. I ordered the wrong book.
  2. The book would not arrive til after the first class and the teacher wasย adamantย we have it the first day.
  3. The tab I needed to access online to see where/when my class was, was down the night before.
  4. The tab continued to be down til right after the class would have ended.

Now, I had a rough estimate of the time I should have been there but I didn’t know the location of the classroom and I did not necessarily want to go down to school and spend hours in line at 8 in the morning. So, I dropped it. I’m glad to have done so. While the people around me tell me I take nice photographs, I don’t think I could handle being graded on them. I’m only artistically minded to a certain extent, then I lose the grasp of art.

Aside from those things, I had a fun time exercising with my friend Rick as the first of one of our muscle toning work outs. We did that P90X thing, and WOW! It is difficult. Talk about wanting to kill yourself. The only one we have done so far was arms/shoulders and it was sooo many push ups. My arms were killin me all weekend! Very fun though. Sadly, I have been slacking on my bike riding endeavors. Woops! Although my excuse for that is that my best friend Sara was in town all weekend and we were literally out from morning til night. ย Has my healthy eating got out the window?

so country.

Just a smidge. I ate alright, I guess. There are not any healthy fast food options on sundays, I’m convinced of it. It’s frustrating! I’d love to have non-mexican food options to eat that are healthy. We did discover how much of a light weight I am while watching the Magic game on sunday and I had 3 beers. I was extremely tipsy! I used to be a champ, but I suppose not drinking for a long time will do that to ya. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One of the things we did do though, was watch It’s Complicated. Which is where I got the recipe for Croque Monsieur. Well, the idea for it then I looked up the recipe and tweaked it a bit.

What you do is make a sandwich with ham (I used smoked turkey) and cheese. The order is the strange part. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You’ll need:

  • 2-4 slices of bread depending on your number of sandwiches.
  • 2-3 slices of meat per sandwich
  • shredded cheese or sliced cheese to generously cover one slice of bread.
  • butter!
  • eggs (optional)

Preheat your oven on broil to 300 degrees. Take your bread and use 2-3 slices of deli meat and place it in between the slices you’ve cut. I used french bread, too, since it gets crispier than whole wheat slices and, lets face it, is more photogenic.

Bread Slices

Pre Cooked!

After you’ve done that, butter the outsides of the bread generously and place in a medium-low frying pan.

Frying Sammies!

Brown, then flip over to brown the other side. I had to use my fingers to make sure it didn’t fall apart as I flipped with a spatula, but it worked nicely. Much easier than flipping eggs if you ask me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Browned Sammies!

Once the oven is preheated and your sandwiches are browned on each side, remove from heat and place your cheese on top. Then place either on a baking sheet or on the rack of the oven.

Make sure to keep your oven door cracked so that your cheese doesn’t sweat.

Once the cheese begins to brown, remove and place on plate.

Make sure Lou enjoys herself while rolling on the floor.

If you’re like me and wanted to make sure it was a filling meal, I added eggs to the top to create Croque Madam. I’d definitely love to make them poached eggs but I have not yet attacked that beast!

My opinion? I enjoyed it. However, I’d definitely use a stronger meat next time. The turkey was way too bland for the sandwich but I don’t eat ham so it was my only substitute. Bacon and turkey would probably be my next combo.
Either that or next time I’m just going to make the bread with cheese and cover it in tomatoes ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yum!

Heart of Gold

Are there any recipes you would like me to try? I’d love anyone to give me some ideas, I’m running out of things to make! I’m in a rut.