Monthly Archives: July 2013

Beef Wellington

Once upon a time, otherwise known as back in high school, my family went down to LA for my cousin’s engagement party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I remember my other cousin’s sweet 16 birthday there most vividly because of the orange juice there (best I’d ever tasted), and we remembered this occasion best because of the waiter who kept coming around with plates of beef wellington. We would’ve eaten it by the plate if it hadn’t been so unbecoming, so instead, we just sheepishly flagged him down whenever he passed by. ._.

Well, here it is! :D One childhood-ish (“ish” because we were in high school) dream realized! The recipe is adapted from here. Adapted because my house doesn’t have flour (…yep) and we also couldn’t find the garlic, so we subbed it with garlic salt. We also forgot to turn them upside down after folding em’ up, but I think this turned out really well for out first attempt! My mom actually woke up from her nap to wander downstairs to figure out what smelled so good (she hates eating meat, but she actually ate two of these and wanted more, so I think that’s sayin’ something. :O ). This recipe makes 8 pieces (~4 servings, 2 per person!).

Beef Wellington

Ingredients:
-4 4 oz. pieces of filet mignon (or some other cut of steak)
-2 cups baby bella, finely chopped
-4 tbsp onion, finely chopped
-4 tbsp white wine (we used moscato)
-2 sheets puff pastry
-egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water)
-1 tbsp EVOO
-garlic salt, to taste
-black pepper, to taste
-dried parsley (or fresh), to taste

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) In a large skillet, preheat 1 tbsp EVOO over medium-high heat. Add onions + mushrooms and cook for ~4-5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic salt + pepper, then cook for 1 more minute and add white wine + parsley. Cook for another minute until wine reduces.
3) Remove mushroom mixture from skillet and wipe clean. Add remaining 1 tbsp EVOO and preheat over high heat. Season both steaks with garlic salt + pepper on each side and cook for ~2 minutes on each side.
4) Place steaks on plate to cool slightly.
5) Lay puff pastry on lightly floured surface and roll out an inch more on each side. Cut them in quarters and lay 2 pieces on work surface. Divide mushroom filling, making sure it’s placed in the middle of the square. Place a piece of cooked beef on top.
6) Brush egg wash around all edges of patry and seal the pastry over the beef mixture (fold opposite corners to the center; pictured below!).
7) Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pepper.
8) Bake for ~15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

This is what the inside looks like! :]

Don’t be like us and forget to flip it upside down before baking it. :O

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Almond Waffles with Blueberry Honey Syrup

I had almond flour left, so I decided to make something with it. Since my waffle iron isn’t going back to WV with me ( :'( moving is already going to suck as it is), waffles it was! I adapted the recipe from here, not because I have anything against oranges (I really wanted to try that out, actually), but because they decided to repave the road outside my house and neglected to tell us, so we were basically fenced in for the day. Thanks for the heads up, city. D:

Anyway, these waffles are actually pretty effing healthy. :D They’re a little bit on the dry side, so the syrup was almost a must (although eating them with a glass of milk would probably work too). I will likely try this with orange honey syrup someday. :O The recipe said this would make 6-8 waffles, but we ended up with only 3. :/ I took a picture of each one and the last one turned out the best, so here we are!

Almond Pancakes with Blueberry Honey Syrup

Ingredients:
-1 cup of almond flour (or other nut flour)
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-4 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp blueberry honey
-1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:
1) Warm up your waffle iron.
2) Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a whisk.
3) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.
4) Add 1/4 cup of the batter (for us, it was 5 tbsp, which is basically 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp), maybe less or more depending on your waffle iron, and close the lid.
5) When the waffle is ready, take it out, place it on a plate and add your favorite topping!
6)    Seal left-over waffles and store in the refrigerator for a few days, or seal and freeze for a month or so.

Blueberry Honey Syrup
(Pictured on the waffle!)

Ingredients:
-blueberry honey, to taste
-a couple handfuls of blueberries
-1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions:
1) Microwave blueberries in a bowl and smash em’ with a fork.
2) Add honey and vanilla extract, then blend all ingredients together with a fork or whisk.

monterey

I love beaches. I’m not used to being landlocked, even though I didn’t do much with it when I was living on either coast (it was cold). I’m glad West Virginia is so pretty (and that I live close to such a beautiful river). In any case, my friend Steph and I really wanted to go to a beach of some sort before we went off to our respective landlocked states (KS + WV, respectively) for school, so we rounded up a couple other friends and made a day trip out of it. The amount of planning that went into it was frighteningly minimal (basically made the night before, in terms of who was going and what time we should leave for it in the morning), but it turned out really well!

We found parking in a parking structure somewhere in the middle of where everywhere we thought we might want to go and trekked on. A lot of the establishments were cash-only, for some reason, so we decided to walk to a bank (they were all concentrated in the same area a mile away) to obtain cash. The way there was super pretty. *-*

I haven’t been to Monterey in over 4 years, but I think we’ve decided to make this an annual thing. *-* (I also really want to stop by Carmel next time; that’s probably one of my favorite places in California). We have plans to frolic on the beach/go kayaking + paddleboarding, and we also found a playground with parallel bars(!).

I made a collage of my favorite pictures. :]

A “quiet and shy, plump harbor seal” chillin’ on a rock.

I could probably sit here for hours to write/read/study. *-*

We stopped for frozen yogurt and then made our way to the aquarium.

It’s apparently $31.95 for admission if you have a student ID, which may seem expensive, but for all the time we spent there, everything we got to look at and learn about, I definitely think it was worth it. There was also a lot on saving the oceans and all the wildlife around/near/in it, which I really appreciated, since I think a lot of people wander through life in ignorance.

Nemos!

Dory!

This is made outta waste. :\ The shark tooth one representing the thousands of sharks that are killed each day was even more depressing. :[

There’s a Seafood Watch app that lets you know what seafood is okay to eat (e.g. caught or farmed using environmentally responsible practices). I picked up the National Consumer Guide, the West Coast guide and the Sushi Consumer Guide (which, to be honest, I was really afraid of looking through because I have a very unhealthy addiction rather formidable dedication to salmon sashimi). I feel like I have less to restrict since all the seafood I can eat is really just fish, but still, this was good to know.

Best Choices (National Guide)

  • Abalone
  • Arctic Char (farmed)
  • Bass: Striped (US hook & line, farmed)
  • Catfish (US)
  • Clams, Mussels, Oysters
  • Cod: Pacific (US)
  • Crab: Dungeness & Stone
  • Halibut: Pacific (US)
  • Lobster: Spiny (CA, FL, Mexico)
  • Sablefish/Black Cod (AK & Canada)
  • Salmon (AK)
  • Sardines: Pacific (Canada & US)
  • Scallops (farmed)
  • Shrimp: pink (OR)
  • Tilapia (Ecuador & US)
  • Trout: Rainbow (US farmed)
  • Tuna: Albacore/White canned (Canada & US troll, pole)
  • Tuna: Skipjack/Light canned (US troll, pole)
  • Tuna: Yellowfin (US troll, pole)

Best Choices (Sushi)

  • Amaebi/Spot Prawn (Canada wild)
  • Awabi/Abalone
  • Bincho/Albacore Tuna (Canada & US troll, pole)
  • Ikura/Salmon Roe (AK wild)
  • Iwana/Arctic Char (farmed)
  • Iwashi/Pacific Sardines (Canada & US)
  • Izumidai/Tilapia (Ecuador & US)
  • Kaki/Oysters
  • Kani/Dungeness Crab, Stone Crab
  • Katsuo/Bonito/Skipjack Tuna (troll, pole)
  • Maguro/Yellowfin Tuna (US troll, pole)
  • Masago/Smelt Roe (Iceland)
  • Saba/Atlantic Mackerel (Canada)
  • Sake/Salmon (AK)
  • Sawara/King & Spanish Mackerels (US)
  • Suzuki/Striped Bass (US hook & line, farmed)
  • Uni/Sea Urchin (Canada wild)

Mahi Mahi, Hamachi/Hiramasa/Yellowtail (Australia & Japan farmed), Tai/Red Snapper, Unagi/Eel, Freshwater (farmed) are all on the “Avoid” list, so I will have to cut those outta my life. :[ At least tilapia’s on the safe list. Hell knows how much of that I ate when I was on my diet. :O

…This is actually how I greet people that I like (penguin on the right).

A summary of the food we had.

+ some pita bread…

+ cashew baklava.

Apple Chocolate Chip Cake

This was one of the last things I made with Rachel/Jaclyn during my trip down to socal. :O It was also what was responsible for their mom breaking her diet, which makes me feel horribly guilty. ;_; (She’s been on a 750 cal/day diet since August of last year, when she had heart surgery.) I wholeheartedly believe that she has more willpower than most people I will ever meet.

I don’t quite recall all the ingredients, but if you get the boxes of cinnamon swirl quick bread (pictured later), the side panel with the recipe for Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake is the one to follow (for the cake portion).

Apple Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients:
-2 boxes of Pillsbury Quick Bread Cinnamon Swirl Mix
-chocolate chips
-8 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
-2 eggs
-1 1/3 cups milk or water

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 375. Follow the instructions on the box to make the batter. (Mix dry with wet ingredients.)
2) Distribute half the batter evenly into baking pan. Layer apple slices (slightly overlapping) and scatter some chocolate chips on top.
3) Distribute the rest of the batter over the top. Add cinnamon topping, another layer of apple slices, and chocolate chips.
4) Bake for ~1 hour, or until it passes the toothpick test.

Middle layer.

Thai Iced Tea

If you look reallyyy closely at that cup, it’s a picture of me a decade ago, feeding a baby tiger with a baby bottle. :O You can find Thai tea leaves on Amazon. (Jun alerted me of this. I haven’t found em’ elsewhere yet.) I’m not including measurements since we tend to like things less sweet, and regular Thai iced tea (when they serve em’ in restaurants, anyway) tends to be wayyy sweeter.

Thai Iced Tea

(This has already been mixed.)

Ingredients:
-Thai tea leaves
-evaporated milk*, to taste
-honey (or sugar), to taste

Instructions:
1) Bring water to a boil in a pot. When it starts boiling, remove pot from heat and add tea leaves to the pot. Stir to moisten the leaves.
2) Let the tea leaves sit in the hot water and wait ~5 minutes.
3) Pour tea through a sieve into cups. Add sweetener and stir to dissolve.
4) Serve in a glass with ice + pour tea over the ice, leaving ~1/4 empty. Top it off with evaporated milk.

I didn’t have a glass and apparently, my dad turned off our ice thingy in the fridge, so we drank it after it’d cooled off, but in theory, ice + pouring it in a glass would be ideal (especially if you want pretty pictures, har har).

*The evaporated milk can be subbed with soy milk, rice milk, etc.