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I haven't updated this challenge for a while, mostly because I either haven't been cooking much, have been remaking some things like the turkey burgers I've posted before, been making super simple things, or just haven't gotten around to it! So I have a few to update. I'll post another one tomorrow, hopefully.

Now, normally I wouldn't post a grilled cheese sandwich on here (unless it was a gourmet complicated one) because mostly it's just bread, cheese, oil or butter, cooking a few minutes on each side. But this time was actually a bit more experimental for me. We didn't have any cheese in the house except for grumbled goat cheese, and I wasn't too sure how that would turn out. And actually, it turned out really well! I pressed the cheese down so that it wouldn't be quite so thick and slow to melt, and spent about 5 minutes on the first side, since I didn't want to flip until it had melted enough, and 3 minutes on the second.

lentil stew with ayib

Well, this certainly was an adventure. To start, the store I went to didn't provide any red lentils, in a can or bagged, so I got green instead. I'd never cooked lentils in a bag before and followed directions, but it never mentioned draining. Now that I think about it, it makes sense, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of extra water. Well, when I added the 6 extra cups of water, it was TOO MUCH but I thought that maybe some of the water evaporated. I ended up having to pour out some of the water, and guessed the extra amounts of tomato paste and spices to make up for that. So this wasn't a porridge like so much as LENTIL SOUP! It seemed to be a hit with my family, though I personally thought it was a bit on the bland side (and looking back, although she listed the garam masala in the ingredients, I didn't see anywhere to put it in so I hadn't noticed I never used it until after), though I liked it much better the second night.

The cheese was easy enough to make and did add a nice flavor to it. I'm not fond of cottage cheese outside of lasagna, but I didn't mind.

I'm definitely getting better at cooking and being ok with not following a recipe exactly, but it certainly makes me laugh when I'm reminded how much of a newcomer I am. But that's kind of the fun of cooking too: having to improvise when things don't go exactly right. And when it tastes good after, it really feels like an accomplishment.
Current Mood: goodgood
30 July 2012 @ 03:57 pm
I now have a new header, default icon, and FO picture!

The layout's the same but I fixed up the codes a bit to have it match the colors.

What do you think?

ladysophiekitty ladysophiekitty ladysophiekitty ladysophiekitty

Thanks to flyingharmony for the help!
Tags: ,
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
18 July 2012 @ 04:08 pm
recipe here

It was my sister's friend's birthday recently, and since she is like another big sis to me, I asked her what she wanted me to bake her for her birthday. She said something lemony, so I went through the recipes I had saved and tried to find something that sounded good AND I had all the ingredients for. This one met both.

I LOVE lemony treats but I had never made one before, so it took me a minute to figure out that grated lemon zest was the skin and that no, I shouldn't grate the whole thing. Ooops. But I was able to salvage that mistake easily (and fortunately we have plenty of lemons from our lemon tree) and do it properly the next time. This was a fairly straightforward recipe. I was a bit skeptical about how dry it would be considering it didn't use milk, melted butter (just creamed butter), or eggs, but the lemon juice seemed to do the trick. This made me 14 cookies, but I tend to like my homemade cookies a bit smaller than most other people do.

Notes about this cookie: IT REALLY IS CHEWY (hey, it's in the name!), but there's this especially lemony bit in the center that's not quite cooked all the way through, which makes it sound awful but it's so good. It's almost like a lemon bar in that way, which is what the recipe said. I ate 2 as soon as they were out of the oven, so I suppose where everybody else is concerned, it made a dozen :P In other words, I thought it was delicious.

I hope my sister's friend enjoys them!
Current Mood: mellowmellow
03 July 2012 @ 01:10 pm
Today my friend came over and we made a huge brunch type spread. So 2 of these are recipes we've followed, and one of them is my own recipe (for scrambled eggs, which I have perfected by now)

french toast sticks

These turned out REALLY badly. I don't think it was the recipe so much as it was us. We planned out the meal yesterday and so I had only gotten to the store yesterday, and I bought a banana as I didn't have any. It was pretty much the only one not green and the recipe called for a really ripe banana. Also the recipe suggested cinnamon raisin bread, which we got, but it was a bit on the thin side and the batter didn't really stick to the bread at all and it cooked weirdly and blegh. I didn't even try it because my friend took a bite of hers and told me to not even bother. Recipe fail!

apple pie muffins

These were pretty good. The apples didn't really shine through though, like, you couldn't really taste them at all. I'm not sure what kind of apples they were (my friend is the one who brought them over) but the recipe didn't specify, so. The brown sugar crunchy top was amazing, however! In fact, the muffins tasted more like brown sugar than apple. I only had one, so maybe they'll improve with further tastings, sometimes I will feel meh about something only to really enjoy it later on.

Now I'm off to the gym to work off all that plus the sausage we consumed for breakfast.

And then Scrambled Eggs.

Usually when I make them, I make them just for me so I use 2 eggs. Since there were 2 of us today, I used 4.
I either mince 1 clove of garlic and then mince some red onion and put them, along with a little bit of salt, in a bowl of whisked eggs and mix them together. Sometimes I will grate the garlic and melt it with the butter (I only do the previous if I decide to use oil instead of butter for the pan) and then put the onion/egg combination in. Occasionally I'll put in a very small dab of cream cheese to make it creamier. Today my friend wanted cheese, so I grated some sharp white cheddar.

Then I put it on the pan and put it on medium low, and constantly stir the eggs, maybe for about 5-7 minutes.
Today I just minced and mixed everything, even though I used butter for the pan.

Current Mood: fullfull
27 June 2012 @ 01:06 pm
recipe here

With 4 people in the house and only 6 muffins from my last batch, they went FAST! I was in the mood for more muffins (they make the perfect lazy breakfast! All I have to do is stick one in the toaster oven, make myself some tea, and ready!) and decided to make these.

Fairly straightforward, probably took me 12 minutes to put everything together and then stick it in the oven (no raw sugar to put on top, though!), and put it in for 17 minutes. I like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, so I was sure I'd like them as a muffin too. I did! Nice and moist, not too dry like some muffins can be.

Coming up next: baked zucchini sticks (probably tomorrow, as I've been on a real baking and cooking kick lately)
Current Mood: okayokay
24 June 2012 @ 01:03 pm
recipe here

If you can't tell, I've been a bit recipe crazy these past few days. It helps that there's a bunch of stuff in the house that needs to be eaten. We were gone for a few days and when we came back we had these GIANT zucchinis. My contribution today were these zucchini bites, which according to the site is something like a mini quiche and a muffin. Personally I think they're more like a min quiche, or maybe an omelet.

The original recipe said it would make 24 mini muffins, but my eyes must have skipped the mini part. I decided to halve the recipe because 12 would be just fine for me. I took out a regular muffin pan and it filled about 6 of those maybe a little over half. I also didn't have fresh parsley in the house but I'm not a fan so I was fine going without.

I used slightly sharp white cheddar. The recipe was really simple, just a lot of peeling, grating, cutting, and stirring.

They were OK. Light and fluffy, and the cheese I chose wasn't too strong or overpowering. Next time I might add some salt or pepper, just to give it a little oomph, because they were a bit on the bland side.

Had these for lunch, along with some of my leftover cashew chicken, and it was a good meal.
Current Mood: contentcontent
recipe here

Remember those pumpkin cakes I made a while ago? Well, I had some leftover pumpkin puree in a container that I had been using here and there for other recipes but needed to use up. Pumpkin muffins sounded like a good idea, and it's something I enjoy eating.

We only had about half a cup of pumpkin left at this point, though, so I had to halve the recipe and make only 6 muffins. I used regular milk instead of evaporated milk (and forgot to halve it but it turned out well despite the fact I used too much milk). I also forgot to add spices to the top to add a bit of extra crunch beneath the cream cheese, but that wasn't a problem.

This recipe turned out really good, in my opinion. I sort of guessed at the amounts for the frosting and adjusted as needed. I don't usually put much frosting on, anyway, so I was able to figure out how much was good for ME.

My only complaint (which might be my fault, I did cut up the butter well but maybe not well enough) was that it was really buttery. I don't have a pastry cutter so I just used a knife and did the best I could. I added raisins, too, which was a great addition. Pumpkin and golden raisins are a good combination in muffins.

So next time I will make the full dozen muffins, remember the spice on the top of the muffin, and try to find a way to make it not so buttery. Definitely a keeper, though!
Current Mood: happyhappy
23 June 2012 @ 07:28 pm
recipe for cashew chicken here

I actually doubled this recipe as we had 5 people eating dinner tonight. Other changes included: extra garlic, cooking sherry, and sesame oil.

This was very good. I thought with all the honey it would be very sweet, but then again while I did double the ingredients I didn't double it for the sauce.

First stir fry I've ever made! Good thing to know for the future.
Current Mood: fullfull
05 June 2012 @ 02:22 pm
recipe here

I have to admit that I do like pumpkin in things, although I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie. I will have a slice and enjoy it, but I won't go out of my way to seek it. Pumpkin cookies, though? Yum.

This recipe looked good and it came from a blog I like, so I thought I'd give it a try. Holy shit it was amazing, especially with the glaze on top. And it was SO EASY TO MAKE. I did have to sub for a few things (pumpkin spice and pastry flour, mostly, but those were also easy to substitute, even if I had to do some guessing on my part) but other than that I followed the recipe completely and didn't add anything.

It was a bit too sweet for breakfast, though. I know, it says CAKE which is usually sweet, but sometimes blogs come up with fancy names. I'll just say it was for a special occasion for my graduation and then save it for future special occasions. Like hey, my birthday in November!

Current Mood: happyhappy
recipe here

I must admit that I didn't just make this. This was a recipe I made (twice, actually!) a little while ago but with the fail of a burger recipe I posted today I thought I'd post a good one as well. This is actually one of my FAVORITE recipes!

It's really good and so easy to make. I'm not even much of a mayo fan but the lime mayo was fabulous! No changes made except for the fact that I usually use a little extra meat and make 5 burgers.
Current Mood: hungryhungry
29 May 2012 @ 12:57 pm
recipe here

We have a BUNCH of pita bread in the house that needed to be used up, so I thought I'd make something as a sandwich filling.

This recipe...well, I'm not really sure what I think. The mint sauce is really good, but I don't like the actual burger very much. The flavoring seems a bit off and the texture of the chicken isn't quite right. I actually followed the recipe exactly with no changes made this time.

I won't be making it again, though I might keep the recipe for the mint yogurt.
Current Mood: blahblah

I'm someone who believes in rewarding themselves for working extremely hard. It's also been super hot lately which means that I like cooling myself off with cold drinks. A few days ago I tried making the frozen hot chocolate recipe again with amazing results, and today I thought I'd try something else. Unfortunately the only fruit we have at the momentare bananas, and while I don't mind them IN stuff as long as I can't taste it (the only exception being banana bread which I like) but I hate things that actually taste like banana.

So I thought I'd try a new recipe for sugar cookie milkshake at my favorite vegan blog here and since I didn't have any sugar cookies I also made the recipe she posted here

The cookies probably took about 15 minutes to make including the baking time, made 5 medium sized cookies, and tasted just OK fresh from the oven. It was undercooked so I would suggest baking it a bit longer. At first I liked this recipe a lot but then I tried other sugar cookies and realized how bad this one was in comparison. Mine weren't completely vegan as I did use a little milk. Haven't had the chance to buy almond milk yet.

The shake? Too banana-y for me. I've noticed that her milkshake recipes (or really, her recipes in general) tend to have fancy names that taste nothing like they suggest.

Current Mood: okayokay
17 May 2012 @ 05:53 pm
I think I've been really craving cinnamon rolls lately. It's probably been 9 years since I've had one, and on pinterest I keep adding things having to do with it. No yeast cinnamon rolls, cinnamon roll pancakes, cinnamon roll oatmeal, etc. The oatmeal seemed like the healthier and easier option.

recipe here

I enjoyed the recipe! The "frosting" topping was really delicious. I didn't make any changes, although I might add pecans next time. I was thinking about it this time but the pecans we have right now are the sweet&spicy kind and I thought it would change the taste too much, and not in a good way. All together it probably took a little less than 10 minutes to make. It's the end of the semester, so I especially appreciate the short amount of time.
Current Mood: busybusy
15 May 2012 @ 09:26 pm
I love English muffins (though I haven't had them in a long time!) and was curious what homemade ones would taste like. However, I heard that making English Muffin Bread was easier and less time consuming, so I thought I'd give that a try.

recipe here

I didn't want to make 2 loaves of bread, so I halved everything. In some cases, this led to estimation for the measurements. I made a mistake too by forgetting to halve the water amount, though I drained as much as I could.

VERDICT: Good! A little watery in taste, but that's my fault.

Would I make it again: Yes, although probably not for a while because it is a lot of bread for one person

Changes I'll make next time: I might try it with some raisins or the other additions they mentioned! It's a bit bland, which could be because of the extra water.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
11 May 2012 @ 09:31 pm

ETA: I have commented to every person on my flist I see. If you posted yours after this entry, please link! I want to say something to everyone.
Current Mood: goodgood
11 May 2012 @ 11:20 am
I love making muffins, I really do. But the problem I have is that whatever I make, I'm in charge of eating practically the whole thing. My family has a couple but they're not big on baked goods so I might have to eat 8 or 9 muffins out of 12.

So as soon as I saw the single serving muffin (chocolate chip, no less!) I knew I had to make it.

recipe here

This was super easy to make AND clean up. The texture was different than usual, I think because there was no egg.

Changes I made: regular sugar instead of splenda, and whole milk.

Would I make it again: Yes

Things I will do differently next time: I will put in 1 tbsp of chocolate chips instead of 2.
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
10 May 2012 @ 06:58 pm
I bought some chicken yesterday planning to make chicken gyros (soon!), but was informed that we would be using the chicken for dinner tonight. I asked if I could still make dinner, so garlic chicken it was!

recipe here

Very easy to make. I was asked to put in 3 tbsps of brown sugar instead of 4, so ours was slightly less sweet. Still good, though! Next time I might add some onions because I love onions.

I would suggest cooking it for 25 minutes. 30 minutes made the glaze harden onto the pan pretty badly which made for one hell of a cleanup, though the chicken was cooked very nicely.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
04 May 2012 @ 06:05 pm
recipe here

Since I've started baking a few months ago, every few weeks I will get the strong urge to MAKE SOMETHING RIGHT NOW! And yeah, making baked oatmeal is nice but isn't quite the same. Fortunately my friend's grandmother has been super great to me lately, so excuse to make cookies and give them to her (keeping some for myself, of course).

Now, chai + snickerdoodles=perfect Sophie combination. I added a bit more ginger than the recipe called for because we like ginger in my family.

It's good! Really soft and chewy, which is my favorite.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

 This was the first multi step cooking dish that I made all by myself, without either helping someone or having someone help me. I bake by myself all the time but never cooking.

A few differences. I used a pound and 1/2 of turkey instead of chicken, and I added rice because I'm not a fan of beans and meat only. I also used a different kind of cheese, some kind of Mexican quesadilla cheese.

This might be a personal preference but I did NOT like the sauce, it was too salty. I ditched that and just put green salsa on the top instead.

I also made the 4 burritos and have a bunch of extra filling! But I used slightly smaller amounts and tortillas. Next time I might not bake the whole thing, just warm the tortillas and eat it like that.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
30 April 2012 @ 09:07 pm
recipe here

Baked oatmeal again! But I've been having a major sweet tooth lately (can't you tell?) so I was craving something a little different.

It was very good! I liked the other baked oatmeal recipe a bit better but this is definitely a keeper.

ETA: I made this again but used a mini muffin pan instead and it tasted much better! This is now my favorite baked oatmeal recipe. SO GOOD.
Current Mood: fullfull
reciple here

It's been VERY warm lately which means that I was in the mood for a cold drink. Saw this recipe a few days ago and thought I'd give it a try!

I liked it, although it didn't taste very much like chai to me. Maybe with a little bit less banana, because the banana flavor was very strong. If I make it again, I'll probably try with the chai tea bags instead! Maybe I'll try it with a bit of coconut too, even though I'm not a big coconut fan.

Current Mood: pleasedpleased
25 April 2012 @ 09:53 am
Recipe can be found here

Yesterday I decided I wanted to add a twist to my usual oatmeal. I found a site that had a lot of great looking oatmeal recipes, but this looked the healthiest so I thought I'd try this one (even though the cookie dough one looked DELICIOUS! I've been having a major sweet tooth lately). I don't have banana, though, and I think that made all the difference. Mine ended up being very thin with not much flavor minus a slight hint of peanut butter. So I would suggest that if you make it, keep the banana!

*Recipe #4 was friends locked.
Current Mood: fullfull
17 April 2012 @ 11:11 am
baked oatmeal recipe here

This was my second time making this, but I used a different recipe this time. Last time, it was way too dry. This recipe was really good. Sweet but not too sweet, and it had a nice texture. I didn't refrigerate overnight, but it still turned out really good.

This recipe is going to be a keeper for me, I think!
Current Mood: happyhappy
16 April 2012 @ 07:20 pm
Chocolate sauce recipe here

I took the advice of people in the comments and used milk instead of water, and I made 1 serving instead of 8. Make sure to STIR CONSTANTLY, and it might still be a bit thick after so I would add just a little extra milk.
Current Mood: mellowmellow
16 April 2012 @ 07:15 pm
recipe here

OK, this recipe was a total disaster, which was my fault. I'm a good cook who's good at following directions, but I seemed to have a bad night tonight.

First, I blended everything together like it said, only to realize that I had forgotten to put in milk and ice. Then our blender stopped working for some reason, I accidentally spilled half of it on the floor, and when I tried different methods nothing seemed to work. Next time I WILL remember everything. I think it's because I used milk as a substitute for chocolate syrup (recipe for that in the next entry) so in my mind I had already put in the milk.

Wow, I have quite the mess to clean up now and not even a nice cool drink to make it worth it.
Current Mood: thirstythirsty