Monday, January 16, 2012

You Can Deep Fry ANYTHING

After an amazing month long winter break I've made the 12 hour drive from hell back from Florida to VT.  Of course I was greeted by snow and freezing weather, so I've traded in my shorts for my eskimo suit.  It's good to be back though.  I'm ready for this last semester with all my friends.  Now that I'm back from break you can also expect my roommates and I to get rolling on the bucket list!

I don't know if any of you have been to Blacksburg, but it is an awesome college town!  It's a small little town, but it's absolutely beautiful and it's a ton of fun.  No offense to all my Floridians, but the people here are some of the nicest people I've ever met.  If you can, come and visit, and I promise you won't be let down! 

My roommates and I moved in to a new apartment complex together this past year.  We instantly became good friends with our neighbors, which are two apartments of guys.  We all basically have an open door policy, and wonder in and out of each others' apartments as we please.  One of our neighbors, Trey, who is the model in the pictures to come, won the award for the best Christmas gift.  A deep frier! 

Now I usually enjoy eating healthy, but I am willing to make an exception for deep fried goodies.  After experiencing how heavenly it all was I would suggest that everyone invest in a deep frier and throw everything into in sight.  Last night we broke it in! I'm pretty sure this is going to be the reason I am going to gain 20 lbs this semester. 

Deep Frying Batter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt

Anything you want to deep fry.  We did Reese's, cookie dough, and Oreos.

Combine the wet ingredients.  Combine the dry ingredients.  Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix.  Then refrigerate the batter.  Also, freeze whatever sweets you want to deep fry.

Set your deep frying oil to 350 degrees.  Then, all you need to do is toss your frozen goodies into the batter and place into the deep frier until golden brown on both sides.  

Then we let them sit and topped them with powdered sugar.  It was absolutely AMAZING!  We're going to experiment with fried mac n' cheese balls today.  Any other ideas of what we should deep fry?

I do have a couple of questions for my deep frying pros.

1. When we tried to do the Reese's the chocolate immediately melted and came out of the batter.  How can we prevent that from happening?
2. How do you keep a funnel cake from coming apart?  We just tried to spoon it in, but it just fell right apart.  Didn't stop us from eating the little fried bits though :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Dinner Party

Is it sad that I'm 21 years old and I'm already having dinner parties?  I watch Live with Kelly and the Today show every morning while I drink/chug coffee.  My grandma, Mor Mor, is one of my best friends.  I pop blood vessels in my hand when I open doors.  Yes, I am a 60 year old woman trapped in a 21 year old's body. 

So I had 10 people over for my dinner party, family and friends.  I decided to try something ambitious (for me) so on the menu was: Almond Encrusted Salmon with a Pomegranate Glaze, Roasted Asparagus, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and a Summer Salad (even though we're in the middle of winter).  I'm a healthy eater, so I always try to incorporate a lot of vegetables into all my meals.  The biggest challenge was definitely the Almond Encrusted Salmon.  I develop a small case of cooking anxiety whenever I prepare meals for people, so I made sure to have Dominoes on speed dial in case I butchered the meal.  It all ended up turning out wonderfully though, and everyone loved it (or so they told me).

Almond Encrusted Salmon with Pomegranate Glaze

3 pound of salmon or 12 salmon filets
5 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cup crushed roasted almonds
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup regular seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup flour (any kind works)
3 1/2 teaspoon salt (to liking)
3 teaspoon pepper (to liking)
1 1/3 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 cup pomegranate juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and set a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with non-stick spray. In a good sized bowl, combine flour, panko, almonds, bread crumbs, and half the salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, add the egg whites and lightly beat with a fork.  You can tell by the picture I made a bit of a mess.  Don't be afraid to get a little dirty!

I bought salmon with the skin on, so the hardest part for me was cutting that skin off.  Does anyone have good tips for cutting the skin off fish?  Make sure you have evenly sliced salmon filets.  Season the salmon with the remaining salt and pepper on both sides. Dip each filet in the egg white and coat thoroughly.  Then put the filet in the bowl containing the bread crumbs.  Coat each piece completely and lightly pressing so the topping sticks. Place the filets on the wire rack. To make them a little more crisp spray the rack and the top of the fish with non-stick spray.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and fish is flakey. After the fish goes into the oven, combine the vinegar and pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5-8 minutes, and keep stirring the mixture. Turn off heat and let sit aside for 10-15 minutes to thicken. I just left it on the side and let everyone take as much as they pleased.

Roasted Asparagus

2 lbs asparagus
olive oil

Now this recipe is a lot easier!  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the bottom ends of the asparagus off. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle olive oil over them and toss them around a little bit.  Then, sprinkle with salt and pepper to season.  Roast for about 25 minutes, so that they are crisp, yet still tender.  They are delicious and simple.  I'll definitely be making them again :)

For the summer salad, all I do is take romaine lettuce and top it with slices of strawberries and blueberries.  I toast some sliced almonds, by putting them over medium high heat.

Last step to a great dinner party is alcohol!  Well, at least it is for my family.  If we didn't greet them at the door with something to drink they would probably head straight back to the car.  I'm so glad everything turned out, and I didn't have to make an emergency phone call to Dominoes.  Definitely going to be more dinner parties to come :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

My First Tattoo (More To Come)

I have been saying I was going to get a tattoo for at least 7 years.  I'm pretty sure that everyone thought I was lying and counted me out, but I finally did it!  'Getting a tattoo' was also on my bucket list.  My roommates weren't here for this one either, but I have waited for 7 years and that was long enough!   I went with two of my best friends, Ritu and Connor.  Crossing two things off the bucket list in a week...unheard of!  We didn't cross two things off the bucket list all last semester.

I got my tattoo done at a place that is beyond sketchy, called Boricuas Tattoos.  Look at the picture...CLASSY ;) I have a friend who knows one of the tattoo artists in there.  Despite the questionable location, the guy ended up being cool; so if your in Winter Park, FL and want a tattoo go over and ask for Charlie Tebo.

I chose a tattoo that I found on Pinterest.  I don't know if anyone has heard of that site, but I am addicted.  Yes, I am coming out and saying I have a serious problem!  I would also like to say that I am one of the first people that was on the website, and have been telling my friends to get one for about a year.  If you want to follow my boards go to

Here is the tattoo that I decided to get

Last December my mom died after a long battle with lung cancer.  She was an amazing lady and one of my best friends and I knew that I wanted a tattoo so that I could be reminded of her; but wasn't sure what exactly I should get.  When I saw this one I knew that this was perfect!  Even though she's not here, I know that she will be with me and love me (and visa versa) forever.  I also loved how it kind of looked like a ribbon which could be associated with lung cancer.

I was so excited to finally be getting my tattoo that I felt like someone gave me a shot of adrenaline before I got in there.  I was jumping up and down and so ready to go.  Got in the chair and he started going to work; and now I understand why people get addicted.  I loved it!  There's also something else I should say...I love needles and shots!  Yes, I know...I'm a big weirdo slash I sound like a junkie!  Seriously,  I am ready to get another one right now.  If it was socially acceptable I would have sleeves, but I feel like that may interfere with me getting a job in a year or so.  Maybe when I'm 80 and I'm retired.

Here's the final product! 

Yes, I know what you're all thinking...I should be a hand model.  I'm definitely giving it a lot of thought ;)  To anyone who is thinking about getting a tattoo...I vote yes, and I'll come with you and get another one.  One more thing,  I didn't tell my dad, Dave, that I was getting it.  I'm so excited to see his face when I show him tonight.  We're having some of the fam over for dinner, so I'll be making a blog worthy meal and showing them the tattoo.  I'll let you know how they all react!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sky Coaster

CHECK IT OFF THE BUCKET LIST!  Okay, so I may be cutting some corners with this bucket list thing, but I am desperate to check something off!  Just in case anyone is just tuning in, my roommates up at Virginia Tech and I made a bucket list of about 100 things we need to do before the end of our senior year.  We've gone through half the year and instead of checking things off the list we just keep adding more things to it.  So my roommates weren't in on this one since I'm still at home, in Orlando, on Winter Break and don't have to go back to VT until January 15th.  Yes, VT does have the longest Winter Break EVER!  Anyways, one of the things on our list was 'To Bungee'.  Pretty broad...yes, but it's done!

I don't know if any of you have ever heard of a Sky Coaster before, but you have probably seen it at some point while driving and though it was a huge lightning rod.

That is the sky coaster!  Basically, it is the simplest ride ever.  The Sky Coaster will take your breath away, make you pee your pants, scare you to death, and yet when you are done you will want to do it again.  I did this with my Orlando roommates aka my dad, uncle, and brother, Zak.  So if you are wondering who the studly models in my pictures are that's them.  All are single so ladies if you are interested I can hook it up ;)

The ride works like this: You are harnessed in so you can lay flat. Don't mind the cross-eyed model.

Then you are raised up on a platform and attached to the bungee.  Then, they lower the platform, and as they do that you fall forward nearly face planting.  I was not expecting that to happen and nearly pooped my pants!  The guys working the ride didn't warn us because they seem to get a big kick out of scaring everyone.

Once you make it past that part, you slowly get lifted up to the top of the 300 foot pole.  Where it looks like you will plummet to your death.  I went with my dad and I'm pretty sure he lost blood flow to his right arm because I was squeezing it so hard. It seems to take forever to get up to the top!  Once you get up there you have to pull the lever to drop yourself.  You have to build up some courage to do that!  That first drop will take your breath away, but it feels AWESOME!  Then, you swing back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.  Didn't want it to end!  Of course, my brother and my uncle added an extra thrill to it by beating the crap out of each other while they swang back and forth.  There's just too much testosterone!

It was a ton of fun, and I would recommend that everyone do it.  However, I would not recommend everyone google 'Skyscraper Accidents' right beforehand like my brother decided to do.  Let's just say make sure that they lower the platform after they attach you to the bungee.  SPLAT!  I think the next step is going sky diving, so hopefully I'll be blogging about that sometime in the near future!  Anyone been skydiving?  I'd love to hear how it compares!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Best Ever Blueberry Creme Pie

Okay so you may think that you have had the best pie ever at one point in your life, but you have not tried this one!  I have made it numerous times and every time I get asked for the recipe, so I'm finally going to let everyone in on the secret.  If you've hurt someone's feelings, rubbed them the wrong way, pissed them off, or even threw them down stairs, make this pie and everything will be okay.  I guarantee it!

Blueberry Creme Pie

Pie Crust
1 9" deep dish pie crust (I just used the pre-made Pillsbury pie crust, and baked it according to the instructions)

1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 egg (beaten in a bowl to blend)
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  To make the filling, mix the first six ingredients.

Fold in the blueberries.  The reason this pie is so amazing is there is so many blueberries in it.  Any having blueberries in it makes it healthy right?  Yeah, we'll go with that!

Spoon into pie crust.  Bake until filling is set; it should be about 25 minutes.

While the pie is baking, mix the topping ingredients together.

6 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter chilled (cut into little pieces)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons sugar

Using your fingertips...yeah, it gets a little messy :) mix the flour and butter in a bowl until small clumps form. Mix in the pecans and sugar until crumble forms.

Once the filling is done baking, spoon the topping over the pie.  Bake the topping until it is lightly golden, should be about 12 minutes.  Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.  There it is, the secret is out!  My brother doesn't like nuts, so I've made this without using pecans in the topping and its still delicious.  I also tried adding white chocolate chips to (because I'm slightly addicted to chocolate) and it was amazing!

All the pictures food bloggers put up make the food look irresistible!  I need to step my game up and work on my food styling.  Definitely looks easier than it is.  Anyone have some suggestions?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tilapia Fish Tacos

Before I get to writing I just wanted to say that if this post makes me look like I'm on drugs, it's because I am.  I went up to meet my boyfriend's , Manny, family and friends for the first time on New Year's Eve, and had a great night.  We were going to keep the fun going by tailgating and going to the Jacksonville Jaguars football game on Jan 1st with some of his friends.  It was a beautiful day, great game (because they were winning), and I felt great.  Then about half way through the game I got a shooting pain through my stomach and became very nauseous.  I went to the bathroom for about a quarter and started vomitting...everyone probably thought I was drunkie, but I didn't have anything to drink that day.  Manny and I had to leave the game early, which I felt terrible about.  I went to his house and took a nap then when the pain didn't get better we went to the hospital.  Turns out I had a cyst burst on my ovary and had a fair amount of internal bleeding.  Blood had gotten into my stomach, and when that happens your shoulder starts hurting.  Who knew? Whatta random side effect!  I ended up having to spend the night in the hospital and my boyfriend stayed with me.  I was in the hospital most of the next day and made my boyfriend miss the Gator Bowl the next day that we had tickets too.  Starting the year off with a BANG! I know what you're thinking, I sure know how to make a great first impression right? That's me though, always have to keep things exciting!

Anyways! I made my first blog worthy recipe the other day.  I decided to start off easy with some fish tacos.  Even though they were easy, they were delicious!  I live with three guys and they were thrilled from having a night off from pizza and beer.  Who am I kidding they still downed a few beers. 

Tilapia Fish Tacos

1 1/2 lbs tilapia
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
flour tortillas

To start, mix the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, juice from the lime, and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Lay the tilapia flat on a tray and brush both sides of the fillets with the mixture.  I poured the rest evenly on top afterwards.  Then, sprinkle sat and pepper on top of the fillets.  Let the tilapia sit for about 20 minutes. 

While the tilapia is marinating, dice some tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and anything else that you may want to add to the tacos.  I'm also slightly obsessed with avocados, so I decided to make some guacamole.

After the tilapia is done marinating, turn the heat a large skillet over medium heat and add about 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet.  Add half of the tilapia to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes per side of until cooked all the way through.  Then transfer to a plate and do the other half of the tilapia.

Once all the tilapia is cooked, break it up into little chunks. 

Last step, if you want, is to heat up the tortillas.  You can do it in the microwave, but I like doing it over the stove top to give it a little crisp-ness.  Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat and heat tortilla for about 30 seconds per side.

Best Guac Ever
4 avocados
1 tomato
1 medium onion
2 limes
1 bundle of cilantro
salt and pepper

Cut the avocado long ways, so that it's in two.  To get the seed out, stab it and it should come out easy.  Use the knife to cut the avocado and then use a spoon to scoop the avocados into the bowl.  Then finely dice the tomato and onion and add to the guac.  Get the juice from two limes and add that as well.  Cut one bundle of cilantro and add that to the mixture and season with salt and pepper to your liking.  Now, I like my guac chunky so once you have everything added take two knifes and cut through the mixture.  This will mix everything, but still give you a DELICIOUS chunky guacamole. 

All you need to do is lay everything out and there you go! Have fun with this recipe...if anyone decides to make it...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here Goes Nothing

My name is Kirsty and I have officially started a blog!  This should be an exciting because I have no idea what I'm doing.  If anyone has any pointers or advice I'd love to hear it.  The only experience I have in 'blogging' is reading food blogs.  One day, I decided to branch out from watching The Food Network to reading about food on blogs.  Yes, you may have guessed it...I am a self-proclaimed foodie!  (I sound a bit like I am introducing myself at a rehab center, don't I?)  Now, I'm going to find out if these recipes I've been drooling on my computer screen over taste as good as they look.  I've been telling my boyfriend that I was going to start a blog and test out these recipes.  Needless to say he didn't believe me; so to him I say 'boo-ya'!

Another reason I started a blog is to motivate my three roommates and I start putting a dent on our bucket list.  We're just your average Virginia Tech seniors; four girls dedicated to loving life!

To help us really appreciate our senior year we decided to make a bucket list of everything we wanted to do before we graduate.  Sounds like a good idea right?  Instead of checking things off, we just keep adding more things onto it!

So here is our vow: to finish the bucket list by the end of our senior year!

Hold us accountable, here goes nothing!