Plum Dumplings & Other Kitchen Adventures

First thing’s first: my feet hurt like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been standing and walking all day long in non-supportive flip flops while cooking. My back’s also killing me a bit – signs of getting old??

Anyway, my parents have been down in Atlanta this weekend at a wedding, and this is the first time ever that my brother and I have been left alone for a prolonged period of time in the house. Since I don’t work Sundays, and I didn’t feel like spending my morning at the gym (though I should have!) AAAAND my creativity is currently shot in the art department, I threw myself into cooking. And drinking Blake’s Hard Cider, YOLO.

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I was not expecting a pleasant pinky-peach color.

It started out with deciding I was going to make Romanian plum dumplings (galueste cu prune). It’s a fairly easy recipe, and I found a recipe I liked. Since it begins by boiling potatoes, I did that – but I didn’t boil them well enough. Ensue frustration and annoyance at my impatience.

I was going to throw them away and feel guilty, but then I made a snap decision to save them and make a casserole/cheese melt thing. SUPER easy: I took the mildly boiled potatoes, chopped up 2 onions and 3 carrots, topped off with seasoned salt, paprika & garlic powder, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and then laid Muenster and Colby Jack cheese slices on top cause I didn’t have shredded cheddar and couldn’t go grab some (had other stuff cooking!). Baked this at 385 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. It turned out really good, but I think the potatoes could’ve used more salt.

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The finished project.

Meanwhile, I had to boil another batch of potatoes. This time it went great. I was able ice bath the skins off and then mash them with a handheld mixer (+ 1 egg, + 50g butter) and then add in the flour (375g) and kneed the dough along. Afterwards, I cut up 5 plums into 12 pieces each, which ended up being excessive and made my third dish of the night, spiced plums. plums

I rolled out the dough and cup it up into palm sized sections, stuffed a piece of plum in along with 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar + cinnamon + cloves + cardamom, and pinched each shut and rolled them around until they were circular. Then came the boiling bath – I had to do it in two batches cause they were so big and so many.

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While they were boiling, I fried some plain breadcrumbs and EVOO in a pan and moved it to a big bowl. After the dumplings were done boiling, I strained them and then stuck them in the breadcrumbs and rolled them around. VOILA!

I ate 5. #noregrets

I ate 5. #noregrets

Oh, and the spiced plums? Super easy. Spray oiled a small baking dish, dumped the rest of the plums in there and topped them off with the remaining sugar + spice (and everything nice) mixture, sprayed with oil, and then baked for about 25-30 minutes at 350 F. The sugar mixture became kind of like a spiced glaze. So good.

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Oh, and all of these pictures were taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. I was too lazy to mess with my Nikon today – partly because my fingers were sticky with dough and other ingredients for 6 hours straight. But I will say that I’m REALLY enjoying this phone’s camera and I’m so glad I decided to go with it rather than my initial intention of the Galaxy s6. The camera really sold me in store, and it excels IRL too.

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram @lovelikeangels, Society6 @lovelikeangels and Etsy @lovelikeangels

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Simple Strawberry Cake

Two things:

1. I love baking because it’s an art that gives me very quick and satisfying results.
2. I LOVE STRAWBERRY SEASON.

My dad bought a TON of strawberries for $2 (!!!) and I decided earlier this afternoon that I needed to make something quick, delicious, and not too fattening, so of course I hit up my favorite cooking website, Foodgawker, for recipes.

I found this one and went with it.

A few changes I made:
– Used coconut sugar instead of regular sugar because we don’t have regular sugar at the moment – it gave the cake its browny color.
– Used TruWhip skinny whipped cream instead of the homemade version given in the recipe – saving on a lot of calories, sugar, and carbs here.
– I “greased” my pan with spray oil.
– I added cardamom powder to the batter.

Ingredients:

1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar (coconut sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom powder.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, melted (COOLED!) butter, egg, and vanilla extract.
4. Mix in wet ingredients with dry – batter will be thick. Fold in strawberries.
5. Bake for 25 minutes in a 9 inch pan (until toothpick comes out clean from center).
6. Cool cake before applying whipped cream and sliced strawberries on top. Keep refrigerated.

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F-stop: f/1.8 Exp: 1/320 sec ISO: 320

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F-stop: f/1.8 Exp: 1/200 sec ISO: 320

Whole Wheat Hawaiian Pizza

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’l know I’m always raving about Foodgawker and how absolutely amazing it is.

Here’s another post thanks for that wonderful website. I’ve been using this pizza dough recipe since this summer and it’s absolutely amazing. The first time I made it, I believe I used only white flour, and it came out wonderfully fluffy.

In the above picture, I used all whole wheat flour and it turned out more crispy and hard. Feel free to mix the two and see how that works out for you.

For this particular pizza, I topped it with light pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, 2 white onions, pineapple, and turkey breast that I marinated in BBQ sauce for an hour while the dough was rising.

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Summer Grilling

My mom put me on kitchen duty last weekend. So I got to prepare chicken for grilling.

FYI, tenderizing meat is kind of a fun experience. And so is creating your own spice rub. For this chicken, I did a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. These are all standard spices that I use when I cook chicken. Or make tuna salad.

It turned out really well, and like the brownies, was gone quickly.

Also pictured on the plate is grilled sweet potato, baba ghannouj and ketchup.

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Perişoare

My mom made one of my favorite dishes today: Romanian meatball soup (ciorba de perişoare) and it turned out SO GOOD, I had it for lunch and dinner.

Everybody makes it a little differently, but the ingredients are relatively the same. It involves meatballs (obviously) which we make from ground turkey, onions, carrots, tomatoes, parsley, and seasonings. And some other stuff. You can Google ‘ciorba de perişoare’ and you’ll find numerous recipes.

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