Friday, November 30, 2012

Boiled Sweet Potato and Groundnuts


Zambia is in the middle of Africa, 600 miles away from the nearest ocean. It's a little larger than Texas, and, like Texas, everything there seems to be bigger. The world's largest mushroom is from Zambia. (They grow to 3 feet wide.) The termite hills get massive as well. I'm talking the size of a small home.

Zambia is very urbanized. Almost half of the population lives in the city. (This is not typical for an African country.) The problem is that one of the primary sources of income is farming. You cannot farm in the city, so unemployment rates are high. It has also been hit pretty hard with AIDS.

Groundnuts and sweet potatoes are common staples in Zambia like they are in many African countries. I thought the combination of peanut butter and sweet potatoes would be gross, but peanut butter prevailed again and made this dish yummy. Enjoy!


 
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Boiled Sweet Potato with Groundnuts
 3 tbsp peanut butter
1 sweet potato
2.5 cups water
 
Wash and peel the sweet potato. Slice it up as finely as you can and combine it with the water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to let it boil until the water has been absorbed and the potato is tender. Smash the sweet potato into a paste and stir in the peanut butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook an additional two minutes.
 

Blue Slippers and Chicken & Goat Cheese Salad

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Here are some new slippers that I made based off of this pattern. I made these a little bit larger because the person I'm giving them to has bigger feet.


1. Using two pieces of yarn, start wrapping on peg 1 and go to peg 34. Without creating a circle, wrap back around peg 34. Continue like this until peg 1. Knit like you usually would when making a hat, but make sure you are not connecting the two ends.

2.Do this for 15 rows.

3. Take off (decrease) the first 6 stitches on the 15th row. Finish knitting the row like usual. When you turn around at the end, take off the last 6 stitches. You now only have the middle 22 stitches left.

4. Knit 20 more rows.

5. Cut the yarn at about 10 inches. Run it through the loops on the 22 pegs. Pull tight. Fold in half and sew up the heel. Sew up the top of the slipper to the arch or the cuff.




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Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad

lettuce

cooked chicken breast, sliced

handful of dried currants

2 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

Mix everything together and enjoy.



It's a simple recipe, but it tastes amazing. I love to pack it for lunch when we have left over grilled chicken.


 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rundstykker

Denmark is an amazing country. I don't have enough time to talk about it in the extent that I would like to or it deserves. (I have math homework waiting on me, and it's already 10:30.  Anyway, here are some interesting facts I read in a book about Denmark.
 
  • Denmark has a smaller population than Los Angeles. (I'm assuming this includes the metro area of Los Angeles.)
  • There are no mountains in Denmark.
  • It is located as far north as Alaska, but winter temperatures are generally above freezing.
  • The Danes invented Legos. (The kids I babysit were thrilled with this fact. One of them actually thought I was taking them to Denmark to see Legos. He was utterly disappointed when I broke it to him that I could not afford to fly us overseas just to see Legos.)
  • The Danish people, or Danes, love their country. They consider the country as a big family, and gladly obey laws and protect their environment.
  • The Danes borrow more library books than anyone else. They also publish 12,000 books a year.
  • They are very polite people. Modesty, punctuality, and equality are very important to them.
  • College in Denmark are free.
Pretty cool, huh? I especially enjoyed the part about free college and all those library books.

Surprisingly, danishes are not often served for breakfast in Denmark. Instead they eat rundstykker with cold cuts, cheese, or jam. Rundstykker means round pieces. This is an accurate description of them as they are rounded rolls topped with wither sesame seeds or poppy seeds. I tried one of each, but preferred the sesame seeds.


001 by Decorated11

















Rundstykker
makes 8 rolls
1 tbsp. dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 eggs

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

3c. rye flour
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten (optional)
egg white, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds for the top

Combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Mix in the egg, flour, vital wheat gluten, oil, and salt. Knead until a dough forms. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, form the dough into 8 equally sized rolls. Place them on a baking stone and make a slash down them with a knife. Let them rise for another 35 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees during this time.

Once the rolls have risen, brush them with the egg white and top them with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cheesecake and Altoids Box Crayon Case

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My friend was kind enough to give me her empty altoids container. You can do a lot of things with an altoids container. I made it into a crayon container for on-the-go crayon needs. You can stash it in your purse so that your crayons will stay together, not break into a million pieces, and not make the inside of your purse messy. This is ideal for people with small children. (Harp always seems to have crayons with her wherever she goes.) To make it, I just decorated the outside of the container with paper and ribbon. I lined the inside with fabric.

I liked this version of my Greek yogurt cheesecake better than the strawberry one I made before. (It is chocolate.) This time I spent the effort to make a good crust.
 
Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cheesecake (2)
Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cheesecake (3)
Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
 

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Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
For the cheesecake:
1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup sugar
2 pitted medjool dates
1 egg
3 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tbsp cornstarch
 
For the crust:
½ graham cracker recipe (below), or 2 graham crackers
2 tbsp milk
 

Combine the dates with ½ cup water and microwave for 40 seconds. Let sit for 10 minutes. Take the dates out of the water and put them in a blender along with all of the cheesecake ingredients. Blend/ process until well combined.

 Process the graham crackers to make crumbs. Add the milk and stir well. Press the graham crackers down onto a sprayed ramekin. Spread them out along the bottom evenly. Add the cheesecake mixture. Bake for 35 minutes at 350. Let cool and refrigerate 3 hours.
 

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 Graham Crackers
makes about 4
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
a few drops of vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
 
Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together well. Slightly melt the butter and honey. Combine to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla and water. Spread out thinly and evenly on a baking pan. Cut into rectangles. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fried Bananas and Sweet Potato

The Marshall Islands are part of the group of islands called Micronesia. It's north east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. Unlike many of the smaller island nations, the Marshall Islands govern themselves. They have a president and have been independent and self governing since 1979.

The 68,480 people live in an area about the size of Washington DC. (Although DC has almost 10 times as many people.) The nation is made up of 29 atolls and five solo islands. The people speak Marshallese, and the climate is tropical.

The tropical climate allows for tons of those tropical fruits and vegetables. These include coconut, banana, and sweet potato which I used for today's breakfast. The bananas were a little mushy because my banana was overripe, but it turned out good. (It was pretty easy at least.) Coconut oil is kind of like butter in the way it solidifies when it's at room temperature. We only had some because my mom likes to rub it on her face. (She also rubs olive oil, papaya seeds, and castor oil on her face. She always smells like fruit.)




003 by Decorated11

Boiled Sweet Potatoes and Fried Bananas
serves 2
1 sweet potato
1 banana*
1 tbsp coconut oil

Peel and cube the sweet potato. Cover it with water and boil until soft. Meanwhile, cut the banana into 1/3 inch thick slices. Put the oil on a pan and fry the bananas in it until both sides are browned. Drain the sweet potato and mix it in with the bananas.

*An unripe banana would work best. I used a slightly browned one, and it got a little too smushy.

Green Smoothies 3 Ways and a Christmas Frame

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie
1 ½ cup baby spinach
2 tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp carob/ cocoa powder
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp honey (optional)
Cube up the banana. Blend all the ingredients together.


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Fruity Spinach Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 frozen banana
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup spinach
Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy! You may have to leave the fruit out for a few minutes before trying to blend it.
 
 
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Green Chai Smoothie
1 chai tea packet
1/2 cup boiling water
1 frozen banana
1 cup spinach
1 tbsp honey (optional)
Seep the tea in the boiling water until the water has cooled. (I added some ice to speed up the process, but make sure you let it sit for at least 10 minutes.) Add the banana, honey, spinach, and tea into a blender.  Blend until everything is well combined.
 
 
The picture is a little cut off, but it is a Christmas picture frame. I used cut outs to make the individual scenes. Click on the picture to get a better view of it.
 
 
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ka'ak


Kuwait is a country in the Middle East next to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The climate is hot and arid. Most of the land is flat desert. Less than 1% of this land can be farmed, so the Kuwaitis have had to turn to other sources of income. Luckily for them, Kuwait is packed full of oil. It's because of this oil that Kuwait is the 11th wealthiest country in the world. Over 95% of its exports are oil. Oil is a hot commodity. 

Other than being dry, Kuwait is also super hot during the day. The record temperature was 128.5 degrees. This climate might not be so great for dog sledding or skiing, but the Kuwaitis have invented there own types of sports. Camel racing is really popular. The camels used to be ridden by young boys, but this was unsafe. Now there are robot jockeys wearing little boys' clothes who ride the camels. That's high tech.

3.5 million people live in Kuwait. That's a lot considering the whole country is smaller than New Jersey. The majority of the people are Arabic with the Kuwaiti Arabs being a minority. They only make up 33% of the population. The people are divided into different levels of society. There are the Kuwaiti citizens and the non citizens. These two groups are further broken down into levels of social hierarchy. Of the citizens, the ruling family has the most superiority followed by the descendants of the merchants who first settled in Kuwait, and then descendants of Kuwait's early desert dwellers, farmers, and fishers. The non citizens are divided into Arabs from other countries and non-Arabs from other countries.

Ka'ak is an Arabic bread shaped like a ring. It kind of reminded me of a bagel that hadn't been boiled.

003 by Decorated11


Ka'ak
makes 12
6 cups whole wheat flour (or a mixture of whole wheat and white)
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups milk, warm
1 egg
3 tbsp zaatar (a mixture of sesame seeds, salt, thyme, basil, savory, and other herbs)
sesame seeds

Combine the warm milk, sugar, and yeast into a bowl. Set it aside and mix all the dry ingredients together into another bowl, leaving out the sesame seeds. Whisk the egg, butter, and oil together. Mix this in with the yeast and then stir in the dry ingredients. Let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a snake and form together like you would a bagel. (Into a ring-like shape.) Brush the tops with water and sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Let the dough rise for 15 minutes. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Onion and Parsley Stuffed Chicken Breast and a Reindeer Card

Sorry for the awful quality of my pictures. I'm now trying to download my pictures of of flickr onto the blog. I'm working on it. 
parsley and onion stuffed chicken


Onion and Parsley Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 tbsp fresh parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp salt

3 tbsp bread crumbs

3 tbsp diced onion

1 chicken breast, uncooked

 

Cut the chicken breast lengthwise. Mix together all the other ingredients and stuff them inside the two halves of chicken. Bake at 450 until a thermometer registers to 165 degrees when stuck into the chicken. Broil on high for 2 minutes if you want to make it kind of crispy.

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Here's a reindeer card that I made by just tracing a reindeer, cutting it out, and gluing it on to a card. I debated writing a message/ sentiment, but decided not to.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Egg Bhurji, or Anda Bhurjee

India is the seventh largest country in area and the second largest country in population in the world. I got a book on India the other day, but I had to destroy it for a craft project. (I could barely force myself to destroy a book like that, but it had to be done.) I did take a glimpse at the book's contents. It was mostly a hotel/ restaurant travel guide, but it also had some cool facts on culture. One thing it touched and I find very interesting about India is how the caste system and religion play in to each other.

If you've never heard of the cast system, it was basically the system for running all Indian society since the Vedic Age. It's illegal now, but is still widely practiced. Basically there is a social hierarchy with five castes: the Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats, kings), Vaishyas (merchants, farmers, artisans), shudras (serfs), and untouchables (take care of trash, sewage, raw meat, dead bodies). The untouchables can barely do anything, are extremely impoverished, and live in filth. The Hindu religion supports the caste system with the use of reincarnation, dharma, and karma. Dharma is the successful completion of your class duties. The Hindus believe if they don't follow their class's duties and order, they will have bad karma. Karma controls reincarnation, so if you don't preform your societal roles without complaint, you will be reincarnated into a lower class or even as an animal. This constant cycle has kept the hierarchy in order. Sadly, this has oppressed many people. Check out the Dalit Freedom Network to see how you can help in helping the untouchables.

Cows can be found freely wandering the streets in India. They are seen as holy and sacred. I'm sure steak is not on the menu of many Indian households. I looked on the McDonald's website for India. There are no hamburgers on the menu. They do have paneer cheese burgers.



The eggs I made for breakfast were your typical scrambled eggs, but spicier. Anda Bhurjee can come with a variety of spices and vegetables. It almost always has onions and hot peppers.



005 by Decorated11
 



 




Anda Bhurjee
2 eggs
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
dash of chili pepper powder
pinch of salt

Saute the onions over medium heat in the oil. Whisk the eggs with the seasonings in a bowl. Pour the eggs over the onions and scramble.

Hot Cocoa Gift and Sea Salt Brownie Baked Oatmeal

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This is another hot cocoa packet holder. I'm making a snowman hot chocolate themed Christmas gift set.


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The other part of the set I have so far is a mug holder. I made it from an old snowman sock. I just cut off the tube part, hemmed it up, and stuck it on a mug.
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Sea Salt Brownie Baked Oatmeal
½ cup oatmeal
¼ cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup applesauce
¼ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkle of sea salt

 Stir all the ingredients together. Spray a ramekin and bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Eat warm or cold. It’s really gooey and delicious.


Sea Salt Brownie Baked Oatmeal














 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Frijolitos

Sorry that it's been a while since I last posted. We went out of town for Thanksgiving. While I was gone, I realized that all the links on my blog don't work. Hopefully that will be fixed soon. The last problem I'm having with this blog is that I have ran out of pictures. Until I figure out how to fix this, I will put the link to my pictures on flickr. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Today's breakfast comes from Guatemala. It's late, I have stuff to finish, and this whole blog thing is kind of stressing me out right now. (How can I run out of space for pictures?) I'm just going to make a list of fast facts about Guatemala.

  • 13.8 million people live in Guatemala
  • The name 'Guatemala' comes from Nahuatl word meaning 'place of many trees'.
  • Spanish is Guatemala's official language, but there are also 21 dialects of Mayan commonly spoken.
  • The Mayans in Guatemala invented the first ever chocolate bar.
  • Blue denim came from Guatemala.
Guatemala: frijolitos

Frijolitos
1 can black beans
3 tbsp chopped onion
1 garlic clove, diced
1/4 cup bean juice
2 tsp oil

Brain the beans, keeping 1/4 cup of the bean juice. Blend the bean juice, beans, onion. and garlic together to form a paste. Pour oil into a pan and heat it over medium heat. Pour the bean mixture on the pan, and cook it until the beans start to pull away from the pan and become thick. Serve with homemade tortillas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guernsey Biscuits

Guernsey is located in the English Channel next to France. Although it's closer to France, it is actually a dependent of England. Since it's a crown dependency, it is self-governing. About 66,000 people live on the 24 square mile island.
 
Most of the people in Guernsey speak English, but French is also an official language. Only 2% of the people speak the native language of Guernesiais.
 
The national symbol of Guernsey is the Guernsey cow. It is said that the milk from these cows is extremely rich and creamy with a lot of health benefits. It has a golden color because of all the beta carotene. I was supposed to use Guernsey milk and butter in the Guernsey biscuit recipe, but, once again, my refrigerator failed to yield a traditional ingredient. I had to use normal milk and butter. (To be honest, I don't know if I could use golden milk. It would freak me out.) The Guernsey people love their cows, and even have a parade for them.
 


Guernsey Biscuits
makes 24 biscuits
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp salted butter
1 cup warm milk
1 tbsp sugar

Cream together the sugar, butter, and yeast. Stir in the warm milk. Let this sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Knead this together and let it sit, covered, in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. After this time, knead the dough again and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Cut it into circles with a biscuit cutter. Place these on a baking stone and let them rest for another 20 minutes. Finally, bake your biscuits for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. (If you haven't already starved to death waiting on them to rise.)

Turkey Hummus Dip with Homemade Crackers and Dog Ornaments

I had all this leftover hummus from when I made hummus bi tahina. I thought my mom would eat it because she loves hummus, but she hasn't been home for lunch. There was a ton of 1" thick deli meas turkey. (It was a really thick slice my mom got for some ring she made.) You could also use turkey breast you'll have leftover from your upcoming Thanksgiving feast.
 
 
Turkey Hummus Dip
makes 3/4 cup
4 ounces white meat turkey
1/3 cup hummus
 
Chop up the turkey into really small pieces. Mix it in with the hummus and refrigerate.

Easy Crackers
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp cold water
 
Mix all the ingredients together to form a hard dough. Using a pasta machine, roll the dough out to the 2nd or 3rd level of thickness. Place the rolled out sheet of dough on a floured surface and cut into squares. Place them 1/4 an inch apart on a baking stone. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
 
 
These are kind of cheesy, but they might (emphasis on might) make the animal lover in your life happy. Or they'll cringe in fear at the dogs strung up on the tree. To make them, I cut a 2 cm piece of wire, folded it in half, and hot glued it to the back of a plastic dog. Then I looped string through the hole in the wire and ties it. Easy as pie.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Green Banana Porridge

Jamaica seems like the island rich people go to for vacation. It's like Florida isn't good enough for them, so they have to leave the country. I personally would rather go to Disney World than some beach, but I've never been to Jamaica. I really don't know what I'm missing. I probably never will. If I'm going tout of country, its generally to somewhere like Peru or China. (Disclaimer: I have nothing against Jamaica or the rich people who vacation there. I'm just bored of beginning my country reports with facts about size, location, or population. It was time for me to add in some opinion on my blog.)
 
Do you want some facts on Jamaica? Here are some about the tourist industry:
  • The tourist industry accounts for 25% of all jobs in Jamaica.
  • 50% of foreign exchange is a result of tourism.
  • It's tied for the top source of revenue in the country.
  • Most tourists visit the northern and western coasts.
 
I think it's time to move on. Tourism isn't all that Jamaica has to offer. If you look past the beaches and resorts, you'll find that the culture of Jamaica is even more impressive than its conventional attractions. Reggae and dub music originated on the island, as did many others that I had never heard of before. Bob Marley is an extremely popular Jamaican musician. They speak Patois. (It's a language, not an accent.) It's not a written language, and it was derived from a combination of English and African. The Jamaicans have to coolest way of talking. Lastly, they have nice banana porridge. They also have a lot of other cool breakfast dishes that I may have to borrow for their less easily researched island neighbors.
 
 

Green Banana Porridge
serves 4-5
4 green bananas
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups milk
6 cups water
sugar
vanilla
nutmeg

Grate the bananas into a bowl and mix in the flour and salt. Beat the mixture into 1 cup of water until smooth. Bring the other five cups of water to a boil. Pour the banana mixture into the boiling water and stir well. Add the milk. Turn down the heat low and let the porridge simmer for 30 minutes. Take the pot off of the heat and stir in sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg to taste.

Muffins and a Tea Card

Here's a chocolate muffin recipe for those of you who like the taste of baked muffins, but don't want to make a ton of them. I thought they were very light and fluffy. You would think the lack of an egg would make them denser, but they were not at all.
 
Chocolate Yogurt Muffin for Two
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
¼ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp oatmeal
3 tbsp flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp milk
pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
 
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add in the wet ingredients. Mix well. Finally, add the chocolate chips if you’re using them.  Pour into two cupcake liners. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
 
Here's a teapot card to go along with the tea themed gift I am making as a Christmas gift. If you were using this as a birthday card you could say some cheesy frase like "have a TEAriffic birthday" or "you're inviTEAed to my party". I stuck with warm wishes because it was more formal and Christmas sounding.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beid bi Tom

Lebanon got its name when people saw Mount Lebanon covered in snow. LBN is Semitic for white. The name Lebanon has been mentioned in literature since 2100BC. Lebanon itself is one of those old Middle Eastern countries. People started living in the city of Byblos before 5000BC.
 
French and Arabic are the official languages. Arabic is the main one used, and French is restricted to only special occasions.
 
Beid bi Tom is usually made with 6 eggs, but we only had three in my fridge. I also didn't think I could eat 6 eggs. I made the recipe a single serve. I think the lemon in this dish gave it a strange flavor, but other than that it was just a fried egg.
 
Beid bi Tom
for one
1 tsp butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1 clove of garlic, crushed
dried mint

Melt the butter in a pan heated to medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon. Saute the garlic until lightly browned. Crack the egg into a bowl and pour it over the lemon juice and garlic. Fry until the whites set, careful not to pop the yolk. Sprinkle with the dried mint before serving.

Animal Stationary Set and Goat Cheese Oatmeal

One of the girls in my class loves animals. She is new this year, and I was having trouble figuring out what to get her for Christmas. (I couldn't buy her a dog, and I have never made a stuffed animal before.) I finally decided on a stationary set. I'm not sure if she's a writer, but hopefully she will like the animal cut outs I put on them.
 
To make the envelopes:
 
You will need 6- 6X6 sheets of thick patterned paper, double sided tape, a pencil, and a ruler.
 
Mark the center of the back of your paper with a dot. Fold in the points of two opposite sides to meet the middle.

Fold up the bottom point so that it comes up about 1/4" over the dot you drew in the center. Use the double sided tape to stick it in place.


Last of all, fold the top of the envelope down so that no white is showing.
To make all the cards, I just cut out cards from cardstock paper 1/4" less in height and width than the envelope so they would fit. Then I traced animals onto the same paper I used for the envelopes, cut them out, and glued them onto the cards. I know this isn't technically a stationary set because I made cards. You could easily make stationary paper to put in the envelopes instead.

 To finish it off, drew matching animals from the cards onto the backs of the envelopes.
I think they turned out well. The hardest part was tying the bow and getting it to stay in place.


Savory Goat Cheese Oatmeal

1 c. water

½ c. oatmeal

1 ounce goat cheese

Herbs de Provence, to taste*


Microwave the oatmeal and water in a microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes, making sure it does not explode. Once it’s cooked, add in the cheese and seasonings.
 
 
*This is a seasoning my mom sells with The Pampered Chef. It's a mixture of thyme, basil, fennel, rosemary, savory, and lavender.

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sutli Ugra

Kazakhstan used to be made up of Turkic and Mongol nomads who moved into the area way back in the 1200s. There was not really any unity until the Russians took them over in the 1700s. A lot of Russian influence came in to the country, and the land was settled and cultivated. Now Kazakhstan is an independent nation, gaining their freedom in 1991.

The 16.6 million Khazakhstanis are made up mostly of Khazaks and Russians. There are also some people from neighboring Uzbekistan and not so neighboring Germany. There are a little over 4 million phones for the 16.6 million people on Khazakistan, but there are 23 million cell phones. (Do some people have two? Why doesn't anyone have a home phone?)

Because of their nomadic past, Kazakhstanis rely heavily on the consumption of meat and dairy products. They like to eat horse. Yeah... I don't think that's legal here in the US, so I opted for a noodle dish. It came from an Uzbek website, but I found another recipe for it on a Russian cuisine website. Since Russia and Uzbekistan have a lot of influence over the culture in Kazakhstan, I decided it was a good pick. (There is nothing online about Khazakhstani breakfasts.) It beat out horse meat, that's for sure. I also read that Khazak noodles are traditionally thicker than in other countries.




Sutli Ugra
serves 2
ugra noodles (recipe follows)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp oil
3 cups milk
pinch of salt

Put the oil in a pot heated to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until browned. Pour in the milk over the onions and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles. Cook for 6 minutes, making sure the milk doesn't boil over. Add the salt and serve.


Ugra
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp egg
pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and knead until it is a hard ball. Cover and let sit 15 minutes. Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough. (I used a kitchen aid and rolled the dough out to a 4 in thickness.) Next, use the spaghetti noodle cutter piece and cut the dough into strands. Separate them and let them dry out on a plate for 15 minutes. They are now ready to use in the above recipe. This is the perfect amount of noodles you will need to make it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bananacream Pie and a Cut Out Santa

Here's a fast and yummy cookie cake/ pie thingy that is perfect for one or two people. I personally did not bother to share with anyone, but it was plenty big enough to have. Since there are no eggs, you can also eat the dough raw.
 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bananacream Pie
1 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup date paste
¼ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/8 cup milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup chocolate chips
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats out on a baking pan and toast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, process the chia seeds to form a flour. Stir in with the milk and let sit 15 minutes. When the oatmeal is done, take it out and process it into a flour. Combine the salt, baking powder, sugar, and oatflour. Stir in the chia seeds, peanut butter, vanilla, and date paste. Mix well. Add in the chocolate chips. Spray a ramekin and evenly spread the dough into it. Bake 12 minutes and top with chocolate bananacream.
 

 

Chocolate Bananacream

1 frozen banana
1/3 cup chocolate milk
Blend the milk and banana together until creamy.


 
Here's a cut out Santa I made from a giant circle with an oval head, and various other shapes.