Friday, January 27, 2012

White Chocolate Almond Brownies

I have to say, I am very proud of this recipe!  It's my very own creation, and my first one at that.  I saw a recipe for white chocolate and butter brittle brownies which gave me the idea for melting the white chocolate.  It took me a few times before I got them right, but I received great feedback once I did.  Enjoy!

What You Need:
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips (I use Ghiradelli)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Let's Bake:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line 9x12 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter and 1 cup of the baking chips in a pot over low heat until smooth, and then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, mix the eggs and both sugars.
  • Add vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Add the melted butter/chocolate.
  • Slowly mix in flour in three separate increments (1/4 cup at a time).  Mix well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • With the spatula, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of baking chips.
  • Pour batter into your parchment-lined baking sheet.  Spread it out evenly (you can bang the pan on a hard, flat surface to help even it out easily).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.  They are fully cooked when you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes) and then dust brownies with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Click here to print this recipe.

I hope someone tries these out and lets me know what they think of them.  :)  They are not super sweet, hence the powdered sugar, but if you are a fan of almond flavored sweets, I think you should give these a try!

It is 10:15 p.m. on a Friday night and I am at home cleaning, making a mess of my kitchen (I actually just made another batch of these tonight), and watching Desperate Housewives.  I miss my husband and wish we could do something as simple as eat dinner together.  It's funny how fast life and your perspective of it can change so quickly.  When did I become a boring homebody?  When did I start enjoying staying home by myself on a Friday night?  Sometimes I miss partying and going out every weekend and constantly having a booked calendar, but it's very rare.  I'm so perfectly content doing nothing but relaxing, saving money, and not getting trashed.  21 year old Sunja would be bored out of her mind right now, but 23 year old Sunja, not so much.  Funny what a difference two years has made.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lunar New Year and Other Things

Rice cake soup for new year.
First off, Happy Lunar New Year!  It is now the year of the dragon, and I am a proud dragon, so this is totally going to be my year, I can feel it!  I made 떡국 (Korean rice cake soup) last night for Mr. H and I.  You can make your own 떡국  by following this recipe.   I made it the the quick way though, with a powder for broth. It is much easier and since Mr. H is only home until 9pm (and doesn't wake up until 8pm), I wanted to spend time with him and eat with him, rather than spend the whole time in the kitchen and then slurp down our soup as quick as possible before he leaves for work. We also got some red envelopes from his family, and I tried my best to tidy up the house.  We are happy and excited for the new year and really hope to get pregnant soon so that our baby can be a dragon like me. 

I have already failed miserably at my 365 project.  I really wanted to complete it this year.  I only made it through the 20th.  Hahaha.  Oh well.  Here the last of my attempted 365 photos:

I'm hoping to post a recipe for my next blog entry.  I created my very own recipe for the first time!  I am so proud of it and can't wait to share!  The recipe is for a white chocolate almond brownie, and I think they are pretty damn delicious!  It took me three tries to get it right, but the third batch was just what I was hoping for. You will love them if you like marzipan.  So that's what you can expect from my next entry (hopefully).

What else?  My memory has been so awful lately. All hell is going to break loose once I get pregnant and have a child, I can only imagine.  Mr. H got a raise at work, so I'm very proud of him.  He is working hard (8-10 hour shifts, 6 days a week), we don't get to spend weekends or even holidays together, and even when we are home at the same time, one of us is most likely asleep.  But his hard work is worth it and he is appreciated by his employer, so I try not to complain that I don't ever see him.  I sure do miss my husband though, a lot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kitchen Bucket List

I stole this idea from Brown Eyed Baker, which is a great blog that I visit often for recipes.  It's a list of 21 (for now, I'll add to it soon) things that I want to cook/bake before the year is over.  I know I won't have time to complete a list of 100, and I don't want to set myself up for failure, so 50 it is!  Hahaha.  I think it will really help advance my cooking and baking skills and it gives me another goal for the year.  I also really like to-do lists.  Nothing better than marking things off a list to make you feel good!  So here it is:

Korean Dishes:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

[DIY] Jewelry Organization + Photos from the Week

I've received lots of compliments on my little jewelry wall organizer, so I thought I'd make a post about it and show how simple it is.  I am by far one of the most unorganized and messy people I know, but one of my resolutions for this year was to try and get my house together and keep it a little less cluttered.  Mr. H is also extremely unorganized and constantly misplacing and losing things, so you can imagine what our room looks like.  We are not slobs by any means.  We don't leave food or trash all over our home, it's just our clothes, accessories, and shoes are everywhere.  We share a fairly small closet with a top shelf and one eight-hole cubby unit, so our clothes do not come close to fitting in their assigned places.  But I do have one thing organized, and that's my jewelry and hair clip rack (and I am damn proud of this tiny bit of non-chaos).

It is so simple and yet it brings me a tiny bit of peace in my disheveled room.  Can you guess what it is?  If you guessed dish towel rack, you are correct!  Hahaha.  I bought this nifty hanger from Target for a mere $3.99 when I first bought my home a few years ago!  You screw it into the wall and there you have it, a jewelry organizer!  I just recently added a ribbon on the left end so that I could pin my hair clips up as well.  The only thing it doesn't hold is stud earrings and bangles.  You could easily add another ribbon on the right side for stud earrings, but I'm still trying to figure out what to do about the bangles issue.  Any ideas?

I took care of my Aunti's shiba inu puppy on Sunday and Monday and he was so adorable.  I really would love to get another dog, but we don't have time, especially since we are hoping to get pregnant soon.  Not to mention, Ziggy (our chihuahua) was extremely jealous and acting like a total dick.

Sweet baby Sammy.
And last, here are some photos from my 365 project that I've been doing really well on (with the help of an iPhone app).  I've always wanted to do a 365 project but always mess up and forget about it.  I can't wait to put them all together once the year is over and see if my appearance has changed.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2 Simple Recipes (That Won't Hurt Your Wallet)

My cousin brought me a wonderful pre-made pesto sauce from Costco last week, so I've been making meals with it since.  Mr. H and I are both big pesto fans, so there were no complaints on having pesto-inspired meals several days in a row.  Below are two recipes that are simple, quick, and cheap!  Enjoy!

Pesto Pizza

What you need:
-Pillsburry refrigerated pizza crust (regular or thin, doesn't matter)
-Toppings of your choice (I kept it simple and used pepperoni)
-Shredded mozzarella

  • Preheat your oven according to the instructions for the pizza crust.
  • Roll out your crust on a greased baking sheet and spread pesto to cover.
  • Place your toppings and then sprinkle with mozzarella.
  • Bake according to directions for the crust.

How simple was that?!

Chicken Pesto Sandwich

What you need:
-Sliced whole wheat (or whatever bread you prefer)
-Mayo and other condiments (optional)
-Rotisserie chicken
That's it!

  • Pull some meat off the chicken (dark or white, doesn't matter) and put it in a small bowl.
  • Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  • Add two tablespoons of pesto (or one if you don't want a super strong pesto flavor) to the bowl of shredded chicken and mix well.
  • Toast your bread and spread a thin layer of mayo (optional) on each slice.
  • Put the pesto chicken in the bread and enjoy!

What I love above these two recipes is that you can switch them up so easily and use the same basic ingredients for several days without getting tired of eating the same thing.  Make half your pizza with pepperoni and the other half with the rotisserie chicken.  Or have a pepperoni and turkey sandwich with pesto mayo by making a 3 to 1 (pesto to mayo) mixture to spread on your bread.  Another option is to mix in one tablespoon of alfredo sauce with your shredded chicken and pesto (as you can see, I had it out when I took the picture above).  It makes the pesto flavor much more mild and creamy.  Simple and cheap.

I've had this saved as a draft for weeks now, and we have still been broke (because of a dumb last minute decision to go to Reno for NYE).  So now I'm working on our other "broke couple go-to recipes" which include fried rice, pan fried udon, and a million variations of what to make when all you have to eat is packaged noodles, rice, eggs, and spam.  We are still eating pretty damn good!  And even though we are broke, we still had a blast in Reno and I am looking forward to this new year!  Sadly, I didn't document our trip in photos very well because I was too trashed and having way too much fun to remember to take pictures.  The one on the left is the only one I have of us actually IN Reno.  The two below were taken before we left and on the way there.  Look at my lame ass face in the left photo.  I lose all my photogenic magic when I have booze in my system.

Oh, and in a couple weeks we get to celebrate new years again!  It's my year: Year of the Dragon!  Sweeeeeet.