Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mmmm…Monday….

Like I said in my previous post, I’ve got a lot of blogging catching up to do!  Or would that be called blatching?  Ha.  I’ve made a couple of things in the past couple of days that I would like to share!  Ok first, is what is known in England as Millionaire Shortbread……Mmmm…like the title isn’t delicious enough?  It had me at shortbread!  What is it you may ask?  It’s a base of shortbread covered with a gooey layer of caramel followed by a layer of chocolate! Mmmm………It’s a square of goodness!  

First I must share the recipe, which you can find here:  Millionaire Shortbread  Please note:  instead of spending a ridiculous 3-4 hours boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk to make the caramel, why not just save yourself the agony and just buy it already made?  I made mine with Dulce de leche which is basically caramel in a can and followed the recipe from there.  I found it almost too easy!  So you know what that means–I’m putting it in the yummy file!  

One more thing I must say to all of my non-UK readers–if you need help converting any of the recipes I post on my site from Metric to Imperial measurements than feel free to turn to the internet for help.  There are lots of conversion resources and websites!  

Now I can present you the pics!  I do think the pictures don’t do it justice in my opinion, they somehow ended up like pictures from a 1970’s cookbook, but I guess you’ll just have to make it to find out what you think of them, my beautiful pics aside.

caramel  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note the caramel gooeyness!  

layers

 

 

 I like the shortbread base too!  If only this was fat-free…..ha.  

 And now I must also share a recipe that is on the opposite side of the      food spectrum–Mikki’s Magically Delicious Vegan Cookies.  Now these  cookies came to me via a family member who is vegan.  I’m not a vegan  and would usually not be so keen to try a baking recipe that is.  I’ve been  through my gluten free phase before and couldn’t help but speculate that  somehow vegan would be the same—dry and tasteless.  These cookies  could not be farther from the truth!  They are SO DELICIOUS and addictive it’s not even funny!  And the best part is, you can eat the cookie dough too!  They contain no butter or eggs, so eat away without fear of salmonella!  Mmmm….salmonella free cookies!  Yes please!  So without further due, I present you Mikki’s Magically Vegan Cookies, but please don’t thank me, thank Mikki!  Thanks Mikki!

1/3 Cup Peanut Butter

2 Tblsp. Canola Oil

1 Cup Sugar (I used 1/2 C white, 1/2 C brown)

1/3 Cup Soy/ Rice/ Whatever kind of milk you prefer (I used regular milk)

1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix that together and in a seperate bowl mix:

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 Heaping tsp. of Cinnamon (that’s the secret ingredient!)

Mix those two concoctions together and then fold in 1 cup of Rolled Oats and 1 HEAPING cup of Chocolate Chips (I found this worked well with even a 1/2-3/4 C of mini chocolate chips). Now, the dough gets thick and it’s hard to get the chocolate chips to fold in. I end up getting a ball of dough and stuffing as many chips into each cookie as I can. That’s where the LOVE comes in! 

Bake on an GREASED cookie sheet at 375F/180C for 12-14 minutes (if using a fan assisted oven like me, bake for 8-9 mins, turning half way through baking time).

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Gotta catch up!

I seriously need to catch up on my blogging!  I’ve had so many thoughts and done so many things lately that I almost wonder where to begin.  Yesterday was such a lovely day and I do mean lovely sunny day that I walked to the nearby village and back.  I couldn’t resist a stop into the haberdashery shop for some more yarn (or wool as they call it here).  I bought a nice white one that was also on sale for £2.  I’ve only just recently completed making my second crocheted hat and I’m so happy with how it turned out!  Almost like a cool beret.  

It’s always so hard to remember all those little things that I see or get to experience here so that my loved ones back home can know what it’s like here.  But I always have to tell myself that they cannot know what it’s like here unless they visit it for themselves.  It is impossible for me to even try and capture all those little nuances and subtleties that make living here such an ongoing and new experience.  If I just took a moment and realized how far I’ve come in trying to learn about and assimilate myself into a new culture, I’d be blown away!  A few years ago, I never thought in a million years I’d be visiting Britain let alone working there or getting to use the local transportation.  

There is just sooooo much more to the world than you know of and that’s only something that can be realized through traveling.  Traveling, to me, has opened my eyes up to more things than I can ever describe or convey.  I only wish that everyone had the desire to travel because it can teach you so much about yourself and the world around you.  It can help you to learn about your loves and your fears in life and make you face them head on, atleast that’s what it’s done for me.

Now, in light of new experiences and traveling, I must share my time at the market today.  I’d never really been to a market and it was such a wonderful time!  I loved looking at all the fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, the flowers, the antiques, the jewelry, the books, and the delicious looking cakes and breads for sale.  My BF’s mom bought me the loveliest little brooch of a 1920’s lady’s silhouette.  I just can’t get over how much I love it, it’s just the daintiest little thing.  I also tried a Chelsea bun, which is like an English cinnamon roll without the cinnamon.  I thought it was tasty.  Here’s some of my pics from the market—to make the picture larger just click on it:

I just had a fun day just wandering around and seeing all of the sights and sounds and smells of the day.  Oh, and before I forget, I went to the movies last night with my BF and his mom, and we saw The Young Victoria, a movie about Queen Victoria.  I must say I really enjoyed it!  I like the music, the costumes, and the plot.  I don’t know when it’ll be released in the US as it was just released here in the UK, but wherever you are, you should really see it.  It sheds light on one of the greatest monarchs that’s ever lived and really showcased the power of love.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see it again soon.

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Chowin’ it in Suburbia

Well a lot has happened since my last post. I’ve moved into suburbia with my BF.  We’re living with his parents to enable us to save up some money.  We’d like to be able to travel a bit more as well, something we have not been able to do living in the city.  So I’ve moved away from the city and into the countryside.  Things here aren’t as accessibly easy to come by as they were obviously in the city.  So now when I bake/cook, I have to be certain that I have enough ingredients on hand because it’s not as easy as popping into the shop around the corner.  

It also is beginning to feel a little bit more like England here in suburbia.  It reminds me a lot of Harry Potter’s Aunt and Uncle’s house in Surrey–that’s how the neighborhood looks and feels here.  It’s much more quiet than living in the city.  Noisy packs of foreign students have been replaced with cars driving by.  Instead of church bells tolling, now I hear pigeons.  There’s a whole host of new sounds that I have to get used to here.  I know that eventually I’ll make it out on bus somewhere and on foot to the nearby village.  

It’s been an interesting experience squeezing a whole flat’s worth of stuff into two small rooms, but with help from the loft up above, we’ve managed to do a pretty good job fitting it all in.  

I’ve baked quite a few things since my last post as well.  Here’s one that is a total favorite and might be one that you haven’t made in a while!  It’s not technically something that’s baked, but rather microwaved, and it can easily be done using a microwave.  Some people call it Monkey Chow, Puppy Chow, Human Chow, or Muddy Buddies, whatever you call it, here’s the recipemuddy buddy recipe

Since they don’t make Chex here, this is the closest I could find–

meerkat

The delicious finished product–warning: may cause Monkey Chow addiction!  I find people are often leery of trying it, with a name like Monkey Chow, I can only guess why! 

monkey chow

So on another note, I was on my way to the village of Wimborne today on the bus for the first time ever.  My BF and I usually walk there, but seeing as it’s quite a walk to get there and the fact that I haven’t done it in over a year, I wasn’t about to choose today to be my day to venture out on foot.  Plus, the fact that it looked like it was going to rain wasn’t helping.  So out on my bus adventure it was!  I got into the village just fine, in fact I enjoyed looking around at all of the shops and just having a good look about.  I found the local haberdashery shop (the place where they sell yarn, ribbons, knitting/crochet stuff, buttons, etc…) and I did a bit of shopping.  I felt proud of myself for not getting lost and making good progress exploring everything around the village.  

So when it came to going back home, I figured the process would be just as easy! Oh no it wasn’t!  Little did I know that I was in for an adventure!  I got on the bus, same number and location as the one that brought me to the village.  We’re going along and things are starting to look unfamiliar to me….in fact it’s been about a good 15 minutes and we’re not anywhere near where we should be at this point….I ask the bus driver where we’re going..he says Corfe Mullen…uh, NOT where I need to be going.  Yes, it was the same bus number, but entirely different route!!!  So he drops me off in a town I’ve never been in before, and I wait for a good half hour…I felt like I was in the twilight zone with weird people coming up to me and asking me where I’m going and seeing the same red van go past me three times….  *cue weird music*  I was starting to get cold and worried that this once in a lifetime bus wasn’t going to show up!  FINALLY it did, and I managed to make it home.  I’ve never been so happy to get on a bus in my whole life.  I did however feel relatively calm during my long detour…but it’s not something that I want to repeat any time soon.  

Now I just want to ask–who puts the same bus number on two completely different routes?!  So in my distress after my adventure, I ate some 5 or 6 mini chocolate chip cookies….some people smoke, I eat cookies.

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