Where does time go?
Has it really been 20 days since I've posted?
I went on to check my statistics today, expecting them to have plunged, readers fed up with a silent Chocolate Tulip.
But the graph made me smile, because it showed me that you, whoever you are, haven't forgotten about me.
Thank you. :)
I think the world should do away with exams... a couple of rushed weeks before exams turn the skyscrapers in the city into towers of textbooks; the sun into the light of your study lamp; clouds into the pillow that you're waiting to collapse on, and streets into the lines of text, droning on and on.
The due date for our art coursework is drawing nearer and nearer, while most other students have already finished and are moving onto their mock exam prep, soon to be followed by the final exam prep.
It's just... insane.
I was talking with my grandma and my mum today and looking through recipe books, and I just really, really, really want to cook something. Bake something. Something beautiful.
I've been trying to squeeze in some cooking in the past couple of weeks, but it's had to be extra-class, homework, art and revision- friendly.
Enter the 5-minute dishes.
Last Sunday I made banana bread in a bowl, on Thursday I made a microwave strawberry muffin, and today I had a blast with my sister at lunch, making a coffee cup quiche and a chocolate-peanut butter microwave mud cake.
When you're so overwhelmed with school life, you tend to forget things that really matter.
My sister is by far one of the most precious assets in my life. I don't know anyone whom I fight so much with, yet love so infinitely. I need to start opening my eyes more to the life we share: noticing when she gives me a hug after a horrid day, when she takes the time out to make something special for me when I'm exhausted, and start doing more things with her, because as much as I want this torture of studying to end, the sooner it finishes the sooner she and I will no longer be together.
She's the only person in my family who would willingly eat a gooey, chocolatey, peanut-buttery cake, and we just loved it.
Don't worry... 'real' recipes are coming... a few weeks until the Mock IGCSEs and then I'm celebrating with a huge, fabulous meal ;)
Banana Bread in a Bowl
From Chocolate-Covered Katie
This is really satisfying and is an interesting new way to use cereal...I imagine it would taste nice with some other fruits blended in, and maybe some variations with cocoa, chocolate, nutella or peanut butter.
Note: For the flake cereal, I used Weetabix Original flake biscuits. I also stirred in some chocolate sprinkles at the end...
1 banana (I use a frozen one, but you don’t have to)
1-2 tablespoons walnuts (optional)
1 cup milk of choice
1 cup flake cereal, such as Arrowhead Mills’ spelt flakes (You can use a gluten-free cereal)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put all the ingredients into a blender, and blend. This gets thicker, the longer it sits.
Flax Microwave Muffin
By Rebecca Friedman on Spark Recipes
This is much less sweet than the banana cereal and the chocolate cake, but it's sweet enough for me. The flaxseeds add great protein-- and I've been telling myself I'll have some every day, but I really don't... this recipe took care of a week's worth of flax.
Note: I didn't have blueberries, so I added some chopped strawberries instead. They kind of 'melted' in the microwave and bubbled over the top, so I had to periodically open the microwave and clean it up a bit... but it tasted good :) I also couldn't find the nutmeg and I left out the orange zest, so I added some vanilla.
Blueberries, frozen (unsweetened), 28 grams or 1 oz.
Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal, 1/4 cup.
Baking Powder, 0.5 tsp
Pancake Syrup, 2 tbsp (I used pure maple syrup)
Orange Zest, about 1/2 tsp.
Egg white only large, cage-free, 1 egg's worth
Nutmeg, ground, .5 tsp
Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly (I use a large measuring cup and just add other ingredients to the flax once I have measured it) and then add egg, syrup & zest. Pour into oversized coffee cup that you have sprayed (I use organic coconut oil spray) and put in microwave for 90 seconds. This will make a tall muffin. If you prefer a flatter muffin (more like a muffin top) use a small, shallow cereal bowl. Top with a little more sugar free pancake syrup if desired, and butter if you can spare the calories. For a really decadent version put a tablespoon of melted butter into the batter before cooking.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mug Cake
From Yammie's Noshery
Note: I didn't have whipped cream, so I just left it out. The result tastes fabulous-- it's just more of a spread than a mousse.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
Melt the butter in a small dish. Add the peanut butter and mix well.
In the mug, mix together the vanilla, egg, and sugar until well combined. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder and add to the mug. Pour in the peanut butter/butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until desired doneness is reached (all microwaves are different so you might have to experiment a little. I only do it for about 1 minute). Top with peanut butter pie mousse and hot fudge.
Peanut Butter Pie Mousse
1 tablespoon softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whipped cream or cool whip
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla. Fold in the whipped cream. Sift in the powdered sugar (I just used a fork) and fold that in too, trying not to over stir.
Coffee Cup Quiche
From St. Louis Today
Note: My sister did some improvisation of her own-- no ham, and agood dollop of homemade basil pesto stirred in instead of the chives.
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Ground black pepper
1/4 of a bagel (or similar amount of French bread, etc.)
2 teaspoons cream cheese
1/2 slice prosciutto or ham
Fresh thyme leaves or fresh chopped chives
1. Beat egg and milk together with a fork in a coffee cup, adding salt and pepper to taste. Tear bread into dime-size pieces; stir in. Add cream cheese; stir in. Tear or cut prosciutto into small pieces; add to mixture. Sprinkle with thyme.
2. Microwave on high until done, about 1 minute 10 seconds. Garnish with mustard and fresh thyme or chives.