A Holiday for Foodies

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It’s the day that acts as an annual reminder to count your blessings, connect with your family and friends and to truly be grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life.

It also happens to be a celebration of food. And why not? Food sustains us and brings our families and friends together. It’s a mode of artistic expression for some and emotionally-charged for us all with every memory each recipe evokes.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and foodies, party planning enthusiasts and pretty much anyone who has spent more than two hours on foodgawker is super excited.

I’m super excited.

And to kick off the celebration I’m posting my Hobbies Cookbook. As I’ve mentioned in my post on peach wontons , I have a bucket list of hobbies. It’s an ever-expanding list of activities I want to at least try out once. And one of those activities involved me cooking my way through a cookbook.

As I couldn’t find a cookbook that really interested me, I decided to make use of the most interesting collection of recipes I know: the internet. More specifically, I utilized the obscene amount  of recipes I’d already accumulated in my Chrome bookmarks list.

And so with 100 recipes, I’ve put together my own collection, the Hobbies Cookbook. What follows are the 100 dishes I intend to cook, complete with links to the recipes and the blogs where I found them:

  1. Quick Raspberry Sauce
  2. Basic Bread Loaf
  3. Panera Bread® Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  4. Pork and Ginger Pot Stickers
  5. Asparagus and Peas Fritatta
  6. Black and White Cookies
  7. Mongolian Beef Recipe
  8. Chewy No-Bake Cookies and Cream Bars
  9. Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Fried Egg
  10. Quick Migas
  11. Strawberry Torte
  12. Carrot and Coconut Soup with Thai Red Curry
  13. Linzer Sables
  14. Guacamole
  15. Baked Cake Doughnuts
  16. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
  17. Frozen Hot Chocolate
  18. Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
  19. Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry
  20. Herb Butter Mushrooms with Smoked Mozzarella
  21. Alfajores Cookies
  22. Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
  23. Beth’s Best Tuna Salad
  24. Homemade Dulce de Leche
  25. Mushroom Bruschetta
  26. Mom’s Flan (by Abigail Garcia)
  27. 5 Minute Strawberry Mousse
  28. Kim Chi Fried Rice
  29. Polvorones
  30. Cilantro Mint Chutney
  31. Crema Poeta (Vanilla Bean Pudding)
  32. Pasta Puttanesca
  33. Cold Chocolate Custard with Whipped Cream
  34. Eggs in a Basket: Baked Eggs in Toast Cups with Melty Cheese
  35. Italian Lemon Almond Mousse
  36. Bacon Basil Tomato Sandwich
  37. Crème Brulee French Toast
  38. Chicken and Coconut Thai Curry Soup
  39. Ice Cream Tiramisu
  40. Olive Garden’s Chicken Milanese
  41. Peach Wontons
  42. Parmesan Herb Popovers
  43. Mocha Ice Blended
  44. Pancakes from Scratch
  45. BLT Salad
  46. Oreo Cookie Cupcakes
  47. Avocado Tuna Melts
  48. Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream
  49. Rosemary Foccacia
  50. Strawberry Fraiser
  51. Tuna Cornbread Cakes with Lemon Aioli
  52. Tres Leches Cupcakes
  53. Spinach, Chili-lime Vinaigrette, Avocado and Sunflower Seed Salad (There isn’t a link for this one. It’s just a salad UGA offered in one of their dining halls. All the ingredients you need are mentioned in the title.)
  54. Chocolate Cayenne Truffle Brownies
  55. Garlic Scallion Noodles
  56. Whipped Cream Cupcakes
  57. Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Pizza
  58. Cannoli Cupcakes
  59. Mac & Cheese Muffins
  60. Cinnamon and Sugar Tortilla Strips
  61. Almond Cake
  62. Pimento Cheese
  63. Payasam
  64. Korean Style Short Ribs
  65. Custard Cake
  66. Garlic Knots
  67. Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
  68. Pajeon (Korean Scallion Pancakes)
  69. One Bowl Chocolate Cake
  70. Spinach Salad with Spiced Pork and Ginger Dressing
  71. Churros with Chocolate
  72. Baked Potato Salad
  73. Palmiers
  74. Stir-fried Egg Ramen
  75. Turtle Brownies
  76. Bacon and Tomato Pasta
  77. Kourabiedes
  78. Crisp Gnocchi with Lemon Garlic Greens
  79. Microwave Lemon Curd
  80. Soft Pretzel Bites
  81. Tiramisu Cupcakes
  82. Honey Chipotle BBQ sauce
  83. Lemon Bars
  84. Fiery Angel Hair Pasta
  85. Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake
  86. Avocado Fries
  87. Amy Sedaris’ Vanilla Cupcakes
  88. Egg Drop Soup with Ramen Noodles
  89. Beignets
  90. Tiramisu Cake
  91. Chicken Francese and Egg Tagliatelle
  92. Chocolate Tart with Shortbread Crust
  93. Samosas
  94. 100 Grand Cupcakes
  95. Quick Potato Patties
  96. Root Beer Cake
  97. Butter Chicken
  98. White Chocolate, Cranberry and Strawberry Rocky Road
  99. Lemon Brulee Bars
  100. Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken

Now you can follow along with me as I try out each recipe. Feel free to comment on my blog with any questions and let me know what you think of the recipes, any changes you’d make to them, or even your own culinary anecdotes. Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear them!

Also, if you like what you’re reading, don’t forget to hit that “Follow” button on my site, so you can get automatic updates on my posts. Thanks!

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What’s on Your Bucket List?

So if you’ve been reading my blog posts (or even just my About page) you know that I’ve recently created a bucket list of hobbies and activities that I want to try/accomplish.

And so I thought it’d be useful to all of my readers out there  to post my list for everyone to see. That way, if you need ideas for your own hobby bucket list you can just peruse mine to help you brainstorm. Also, my list isn’t set in stone. I’m constantly updating it, adding new activities.

Which is honestly how I think life should be. You should always be learning new things and actively adding new experiences.

So please feel free to comment on this post with new suggestions on stuff to do and/or how to do them better.

And now…[insert annoying, but suspenseful commercial break, American Idol-style here]  *drum roll*

The List (In no particular order…)

  1. Going to cultural events
  2. Volunteering with Asha for Education
  3. Running a marathon
  4. Taking an intro scuba lesson
  5. Waterfall hunting
  6. Programming
  7. Paintball
  8. Learn how to work on cars
  9. River tubing
  10. Camping
  11. Skydiving
  12. Hiking
  13. Hot-air ballooning
  14. White-water rafting
  15. Ziplining
  16. Snorkeling
  17. Parasailing
  18. Kayaking
  19. Gun-range shooting
  20. Berry picking
  21. Go to the Pumpkin Festival in Stone Mountain, Ga. in October
  22. Take a cooking class
  23. Take a drawing and painting class
  24. Take a voice lesson
  25. Take a dance class (like ballroom or something)
  26. Take a martial arts class
  27. Fly in a small plane/take a flying class
  28. Feng Shui
  29. Yoga
  30. Fashion designing/styling (I definitely want to learn how to make clothes, especially sundresses and formal wear.)
  31. Gardening
  32. Mountain climbing
  33. Pick a cookbook and cook my way through it.
  34. Indoor rock climbing
  35. Skiing
  36. Snowboarding
  37. Join a book club
  38. The Life Seduction Challenge
***I’d like to thank my Facebook friends for their help in compiling this list. You guys are awesome!
And I’ve got a question for my readers: What’s on your bucket list? Comment on this post and let me know!

Culinary Experiment #1: Peach Wontons

As I’ve mentioned in my About Me page, not only am I a bit of a foodie, but I’ve recently started a new “bucket list hobby project”.  A few months ago, I asked a few of my friends on Facebook to suggest different hobbies and activities for me to try out. One of the suggestions involved me cooking my way through a cookbook a la “Julie & Julia”.

But since I couldn’t find a cookbook that interested me (I didn’t want to be tied down by any sort of theme and there are so many themes in the world of cookbooks!) I compiled my own. I figured why not just use the thousands of online recipes I’ve bookmarked (and drooled over) but never bothered to use. I’ve since narrowed that collection down to include about 100 recipes in my “Hobbies Cookbook.”

And I’m starting off with Peach Wontons. I visited a friend in Athens, Ga. recently and we decided to have a baking/dance party. Cue the visions of dancing dorks, fried pastries and blaring rap music. Hey, it’s my dance party. Nelly’s “It’s Hot in Herre” may be a little cliche for a kitchen, but it makes me happy. So there.

The recipe we used can be found here. It’s a blog called “She Wears Many Hats.” In the interest of saving money, my friend and I did make a few changes to the recipe.

  1. Instead of fresh peaches, we used canned. We got the amount of peaches we needed with the added bonus of syrup. Which brings me to the next change….
  2. Since the peaches were already in thick syrup, we didn’t see a reason to use flour as a thickening agent.
             Upon tasting, they were pretty glorious. Crispy, sugary and filled with juicy peaches. It’s like a peach wrapped in a funnel cake. Eating these certainly calls for the addition of ice cream, fireworks and a ferris wheel ride.