Parlez-vous Français?

I’ve had more time than usual this week to enjoy things like cooking and baking :) Though admittedly this recipe didn’t take very much of my time at all. I found a French onion soup recipe here (through Pinterest, naturally) and modified it just a little for my vegetarian needs. Also, I scaled it back a little because I didn’t need quite as much soup as it would have made. I somehow always thought that it would be too difficult to make French onion soup so I never tried. I was missing out! Basically the only effort I actually put into this was slicing the onions, the rest was just sitting and waiting.

My French onion soup consisted of:

2 sweet onions, sliced
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 32-oz carton of vegetable stock
French baguette, sliced on the bias
Asiago cheese
I melted the butter in my slow cooker on high for a few minutes. In the meantime I sliced my onions and added them to the butter to caramelize them, which took about an hour (my house smelled so great at that point!). Then I mixed the flour, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and pepper in a separate bowl, adding them to the crock pot with the vegetable stock. Then it was smooth sailing, as I let it sit for 8 hours on low as I went about my day.

When it came time for dinner, I toasted the sliced French baguette and melted the cheese on top. I put the bread in the soup, sprinkled a little more cheese on top, and voilà! French onion soup!

Also, it is imperative that you listen to this and this while you prepare and devour this meal!

Kale chips

I have been reading rave reviews all over the internet for kale chips. I have tried kale before, in salads, and I truly don’t mind it. I like it only because it is so good for you, but it’s definitely not something I crave. Now I can officially say that I crave kale chips! They’re such a great flavor and a great replacement for potato chips (I like them even better!) and other salty, not-so-nutritious things. I may even try them crushed as a topping for popcorn, because I apparently love to do that (click here to share in my popcorn crazy).

Probably one of the most simple snacks to make, kale chips are just bits of kale torn into bite-sized pieces, sprinkled with olive oil and salt, and baked for 5-10 minutes at 300 degrees. You want them to be crispy but not brown. So easy!

Sweet potato cupcakes

I have a new favorite recipe for fall/winter sweets! Actually, this is pretty much tied with my recipe for apple pie cookies, but it definitely wins for cupcakes.

I roughly followed the recipe found here, but this is what actually went into these cupcakes:

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup pureed sweet potato
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

I combined all the ingredients (not in any particular order) then baked them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. I topped them with my roommate’s cream cheese frosting recipe:

8 oz plain cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

These ingredients were blended until evenly combined, and spread on the cupcakes. I sprinkled a little more cinnamon on top and then, finally, enjoyed my cupcakes!


Corn maze

Went out to a corn maze tonight, planning a fun evening of twists and turns.  Little did I know, the only options were haunted corn maze 1 and haunted corn maze 2. So while winding around twists and turns, we were occasionally chased by men with chainsaws. Unfortunate. It was not as scary as I was afraid it would be, but still served to reaffirm my fear of, well, fear.

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Bill Nye the Science Guy

Guess who I saw speak last night?

That’s right, BILL NYE!

As a science major and self admitted HUGE nerd, this was pretty much one of the highlights of my year. He was absolutely hilarious and his voice in person sounds just like it does on TV!

His speech was on space exploration and it completely renewed my love for planets and stars and all of that great stuff!

Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Nye the Science Guy!

Playing with popcorn

Experimented with popcorn seasoning late last night/early this morning as my roommate and I tried to find a yummy study snack. It was so much fun!

We tried lime and chili powder; Cholula; honey; garlic salt and butter; paprika; Parmesan cheese and black pepper; balsamic vinegar; and cinnamon sugar. I didn’t love them all, especially not paprika or cinnamon sugar (maybe cinnamon sugar and butter…?). My favorites were lime and chili powder; garlic salt and butter; Parmesan cheese and black pepper; and the surprising combination of balsamic vinegar and honey.

Now I have plenty of fancy popcorn options!