Saturday, November 17, 2012

Scenes From My Life

Whenever I read blogs, I kind of wonder what bloggers do in the outside world. Y'know, when they're not taking pictures of their perfectly positioned food or telling amazing, relevant stories. I'm not bitter, I just am incredibly aware of how far away I am from that position. I am nowhere near perfect. And as much as I wish I could make something like this my life...I'm not at that point. I have homework, haha. Do you want to see some of the things I do outside of the blog? 

I've grown increasingly fond of rock climbing over this semester. It's so fulfilling for me to set challenges just for myself and feel my strength growing until I can reach my goals. 

This is Jackie. She is a ham.

I volunteer at the humane shelter once a week, feeding cats and cleaning out their cages, and walking and playing with dogs. It makes me sad that there are so many strays/abandoned pets, but I've seen so many get new homes. I really commend those who adopt.

Last weekend I went to a Diwali festival. Previously, I knew next to nothing about the holiday, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to learn more about it. Also, I tried to make halwa and planned on doing a Diwali blog post, but it failed miserably. Such is life.

Last night was International Food Night, an opportunity to students to visit different honor houses and try foods from all over the world. The house I cooked in had food from Japan and Paraguay. The above is Okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake. I met a lot of new, great people and learned how to cook something I've never made before! 

Here is my latest baking experiment - Cocoa biscuits with brown sugar cinnamon butter. They're not very sweet, and more like a cakey brownie than a biscuit, but I like them. Something simple to fill the baking urge. I'll share the recipe.

So there's my life. Thanks for letting me share with you. 

Cocoa Biscuits with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butter

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar + 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, and whisk until combined. Using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, add butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse little crumbles remain. Add buttermilk and vanilla, stirring with a spoon until just combined, not overmixing. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together.
Use  1/4 cup measure to drop batter onto a nonstick baking sheet, or press dough on a sheet of parchment paper or cutting board, then using a biscuit cutter to shape the dough into rounds. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until biscuits are set and slightly golden on the edges. Serve immediately.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mash until combined!

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