Monday, August 29, 2011

The no good very bad fat day

I am home from Europe. And I am not happy to be here.

I'm being a grump today.

I woke up this morning, reached for my laptop from my desk, and I dropped it. I DROPPED IT. And the screen cracked. And since it will cost my first born+an arm+a leg+my sanity to replace it, this is just a little something I'll have to live with for now.

It looks like lightning struck my desktop.

People keep asking me, "how was Europe?" and this makes me almost burst into tears because I just want to run to the airport and hop on the next plane back and re-live my summer over and over again. It was magical. I learned more about myself than I thought I could. I met amazing friends. I saw the most beautiful places. For two gorgeous months, the continent was my playground. Museums, sights, rich history, delicious was all at my finger tips. I just lived. I didn't need to worry about exams or graduating or the lab or anything because it was all so far away.

 Pondering the meaning of life in a coffee shop in Prague.

Le sigh. All good things must come to an end. It was time to be responsible and come back home.

To make matters worse, I'm having a fat day. Well, more like a fat week. Along with the extraordinary photographs and memories I brought home from Europe came some vacation weight. My clothes aren't fitting quite right.

And all I want right now is something sweet.

Oh the tough moments. The hard decisions that really define us, build character, and all that nonsense. Should I run to the mini mart across the street for some ice cream? Should I go to sleep with my aching, unsatisfied sweet tooth? It's so blistering hot outside that I almost stopped breathing while taking out the trash. Ice Cream sounds good. Cool, refreshing ice cream.

Cool, refreshing, toomanycalories ice cream.

Luckily my best friend gave me a recipe for days like this--for those no-good-very-bad-fat-days when the Texas heat is really kicking your butt.

As I stirred the ingredients together, I already started feeling a just a little bit better. It's nice to have something sweet to look forward to, isn't it? And it's even better when that something sweet is only about 200 calories:)

Frrrrozen Lemonade Pie
1 can fat-free condensed milk
1 package of crystal light lemonade mix (not the individual packet, but the kind that makes a 2 quart pitcher-full)
1 container thawed cool whip
1 graham cracker crust

Mix the lemonade powder and condensed milk until the crystals have dissolved, then fold this into the cool whip.

When all the ingredients are incorporated, spread the mixture into the crust.

If you want a more pudding consistency, pop it into the fridge in the morning and it will be good to go by the end of the day. You can also freeze it for a few hours for a slightly harder texture. It all depends on how you like your pudding-pie! I happen to be in the mood for a frozen treat, so this bad boy is coming out of the freezer after dinner.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Deep Fried and Delicious

A few friends and I decided to spend our last glorious weekend abroad in Dublin, Ireland. We made the most of our two days with a walking tour of the city, a pub crawl, an afternoon trip to the seaside village of Malahide, and of course, some yummy eats.

 The beach at Malahide Village

Dave, our hilarious, obnoxious, English-bashing tour guide took us to a pub that served an amazing stew in Dublin's notorious Temple Bar area. It was a fun experience, but the following day we decided to hit up a pub in a slightly less touristy area north of the River Liffey. We were served massive pots of delicious Irish stew with tender meat and vegetables. And for dessert? A deep fried mars bar.

If you've been to the Texas State Fair, you're more than familiar with all sorts of deep fried things from bacon to butter (what?!).

Deep fried latte? What the what?!

Actually this dish is *GASP* not Irish! It originated in chip shops in Scotland in the 90's and its popularity has spread ever since. It combines a gooey, marshmallowy (new word?) chocolate bar with a crunchy sweet batter, and don't worry, it's an excellent source of sugar, fat, and calories.


This brought back a fond, sugar rush of memories from my childhood...and from about four months ago. When I was eleven, a friend and I approached my mom with a handful of snickers and milky way bars, begging her to fry them for us because we had seen someone do it on TV. That woman is always looking for crazy kitchen experiments, so of course, she agreed. Half an hour later we were buzzing around the house and jumping on the couches with chocolate smeared all over our lips. About ten minutes after that, we were passed out on the living room floor in a food coma.

Now we fast forward to college, where few things have changed. My friends and I experiment in our apartment kitchen, which has led to some epic disasters (jack daniels shots with bacon?), but our latest experiment was a beautiful success--oreos fried in a pancake-like batter. I dare you to try it.

Fried Oreos Recipe

1 package of Oreos
2 cups of Bisquick
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk
vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar (optional)
Ice Cream (optional)

Preheat the oil in a deep pan until it reaches about 350 degrees. Be careful.

Seriously, be careful.

Place some paper towels on a plate. The cookies will go straight from the fryer to this plate to drain.

Blend the bisquick, eggs, and milk until smooth.

Dip the oreos in the mix and gently place in the hot oil. Hey, don't drop them! The oil will splatter and you'll be in pain and this wont be fun anymore.

Keep checking and turning the cookies, they will turn a lovely golden brown color and they'll fluff up nicely.

Remove them and let them drain on the paper towels before serving them to your hungry friends. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teatime Therapy

If you have never experienced a traditional afternoon tea, GO DO IT NOW.

It's the civilized thing to do.

I, like my mother, am more than content with my daily cup (or three) of microwave-made tea. However, sometimes it's nice to break out those linen napkins and be a little fancy shmancy. Sipping on tea with some buttered scones and tiny finger sandwiches is relaxing, and turns something mundane and simple into an elegant ritual. My favorite aspect of English culture is that people make time to enjoy these little luxuries.

Teatime at Brown's Cafe, Woodstock Road, Oxford

Check out this spread of scones with butter and jam, salmon and cucumber finger sandwiches, a sampling of cakes, and a pot of earl gray tea. My favorite part, of course, was the bowl of sugar cubes!