Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Midas Cake!

Midas had an end-of-the-year banquet last week. I made an Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. The cake was pretty good, but the frosting was too sweet for my liking. (But I generally think that about all frosting. If something is too sweet and I eat it fast I start sweating a lot. Is that weird?) The cake was kind of like carrot cake. I love carrot cake but I didn't feel like sitting around grating carrots that day.

I was originally going to decorate it as our frisbee disc design but I ran out of time. (Banquet was on a Monday and EE homework is due on Tuesdays. What's a girl to do?)

I didn't take pictures of my outfit before I left due to the lack of time. (I wore a J.Crew shift dress. It has pockets! What what?) Here are some pictures from the banquet. It was a lot fun. I enjoyed seeing all the gorgeous ladies of Midas dressed up. I usually see them in shorts and t-shirts with hair pulled back.

This song = how I feel about Midas.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Use Flour (Lots of It)

I recently acquired a 25 pound bag of flour from Costco. $5.89, suckas. Cha-ching. I was so stoked. I used to get the 5 pound bags but I kept going through those in a matter of a month. So now I totally don't feel bad about using my flour (or about roommates stealing a cup or two). Cookies? Sure! Banana bread? No problem! Pizza? Don't mind if I do!

So, I've been making pizza a lot. My favorite is lamb pizza. No surprise. When I was at the Bee's a couple of weeks ago I tried making the dough in a bread machine. It was a lot easier but didn't work out. The dough didn't stretch as well as it did when I made it by hand. I don't know. I probably screwed something up. It was my first time using a bread machine. I know a lot of people make pizza dough using the bread machine and the crust is fantastic.

Basic Pizza Dough
makes 2 crusts

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/2-3/4 all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar (optional)

1. Combine yeast and water and let stand until yeast dissolves (5 min).
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand or on low speed.
3. Knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil an turn it over once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. (1-1:30 hours)
4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. (Hottt.) Grease and dust 2 baking sheets with cornmeal (I never have that but always wish I did.)
5. Punch the dough down and divide in half. Roll each piece into a ball and let rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 10-15 minutes. (This is when I remember that pizza needs a topping and try to come up with something. Takes me much longer than 15 minutes. It seems to be OK.)
6. Flatten each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch round. (I don't have a rolling pin, so I just stretch it. It's really easy.)
7. Place each dough circle on a prepared baking sheet. Left the edge and pick it to form a lip.
8. To prevent the filling from making the crust soggy, brush the top of the dough with olive oil.
9. Let rest for 10 minutes before topping. (This was news to me. I just top it.)

I made a desert pizza once when I didn't have enough topping for two crusts. It was a disaster. I still ate it.

More pizza!
pizza collage

Monday, May 24, 2010

What the Heck is Scampi? (It's still May)

Wikipedia has the answer. It's a culinary name for some species of lobster, more exactly Norway Lobsters or Dublin Bay Prawn. Dublin Bay Prawn in Italian is "scampi". Why "shrimp scampi" then, you ask? I've been wondering that myself. It's like calling a dish "shrimp shrimp". Even that is a stretch.

Regardless. Shrimp scampi is delicious. Seeing as the quarter is ending and I have to move out of my apartment in the next few weeks I busted out some shrimp from the freezer. Surprisingly it was very easy to make. You can't really go wrong with butter, garlic, shrimp and lemon juice.

(By the way, the last time I made shrimp it was absolutely revolting. I was under the impression that my shrimp was shelled and deveined. In my haste to finish making dinner I just skewered and grilled it. Oy, oy, oy, oy. It tasted fine, but boy do you lose your appetite quickly when you have to take off the shrimp's little legs off before you eat it. I almost threw up. Hence my leftover shrimp sitting in the freezer, oh, since January.)

DSCN0396 DSCN0397

1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.


Yum. It was good. Don't skimp on the lemon. It really helps offset all the butter.

In other news I crashed on my board. I ride my longboard every single day. So far I've been able to avoid any serious crashes despite Westwood's horrendous streets. (I could write a whole post about the streets surrounding UCLA. It's maddening.) I had just parked a few blocks from my apartment and was skating back. Most of my stuff was in my backpack but I had 11 apples in a package in my arms. I was on Veteran. I skate to and from work on that street every Tuesday and Thursday but it was dark. I hit a crack in the sidewalk and landed on my right elbow. It sucked. My board shot back, apples flew everywhere. I don't know how long I sat there scared out of my mind. I picked everything up and walked home. It turned out to be not that bad; the pain subsided, I have a few scratches. I am a little worried because it has been 24 hours and the pain is not in my elbow anymore but in the forearm and fingers. It's just a dull ache. I'll get it checked out if it doesn't go away in the next week or so. I wonder if I hit the funny bone.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's a Poll

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I can't believe it has been a year since last Mother's Day. I very clearly remember typing out a post for last year's Mother's Day. We did pretty much the same thing this year - Souplantation for breakfast and dinner at home. This is what I ended up wearing. I got this dress for free as a hand-me-down from Sue's friend's daughter. I wish I had taken a picture with E because she was dressed very pretty.
No earrings still. I got hit in the ear with a frisbee disc while I was wearing earrings. The earring pierced the back of my head and tore up the pierced hole a bit. It's pretty much healed by now but I'm scared to wear earrings now.

For dinner Mark and Barry made 3 different kinds of ribs and I made a raspberry cheesecake. It turned out really well.

On a different note, I played scrabble and got 74 points for the word "alumnae". Very proud of myself.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Found My Niche

When 38,000 other (strange) people attend your school sometimes it's hard to feel like you're part of it. I've been at UCLA for a year and a half now and I am happy to say that I have finally found my niche. I tried a sorority and didn't like it, I tried Ultimate and loved it! (Second time is a charm?) I've been playing since September - learned lots of neat things, ran a lot, got gnarly black toes (from cleats), and most importantly made some bomber friends. I am sad the season is coming to an end. Playing ultimate with friends is pretty much the best and I am going to miss Midas over the summer.

(All photos were taken by JT who came to all but 2 tournaments.)