Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Thoughts on Parenthood, I laugh, I cry, I get emotional and my boyfriend walks out

I made cookies on Saturday but was working Sunday and somehow all my cookies disappeared and the second batch was not as good, so no post. Sorry =(

However I have decided to talk about a TV show that I am loving right now. Parenthood!!

I was waiting for this show since about February of last year. I have a secret, I love, love The Gilmore Girls, actually if you know me this is not a secret, not at all!! I have every episode on my laptop and have followed the rest of lauren Graham's work since. So when I heard that she would be a main character in Parenthood, well I checked for a release date every other day until it was announced. There was some controversy surronding the premiere of this show and according to wikipedia Maura Tierney was due to play the part of Sarah Braverman. Now I must state that I am in no way glad or happy that Maura got cancer, and was unable to do this show, I do hope she is doing well and that she is getting loads of work. However, that said, no-one could play Sarah Braverman better than Lauren Graham. She has this incredible ability to play a single mom who has made some mistakes but works hard. She manages to come of as  both extremely intelligent and deserving of your respect while simultaneously silly, funny, unorganized and accident prone. If you are thinking, that sounds suspiciously like the character of Loreli Gilmore, well you're right but I say 'If it aint broke.....'

The show itself centres around the Braverman family and is a television spin off of the 80's movie. (FYI this is the second spin off but by far the best). The family includes the Grandparents; Zeek and Camille; siblings Adam, Sarah, Crosbie and Julia; and their respective partners and children. The drama in this show comes from the interpersonal relationships, as well as the trials of life inside the family and out. The first season deputed on march 2 2010 and included 13 episodes. Season 2 started in September and we are currently up to episode 7. I really hope that they are going to make a full 24 episode series, but it does not look promising because IMDB only shows up to 2.13. So we will see.

I personally enjoy this show. As a girl the relationships and love interests enthrall  me and as a young adult, stuck between the angst of being a teenager and the responsibilty of being a parent, I like the interpersonal dynamics and I fell like I can see from both sides. The show has a large target audience. I would compare it to something like 'Brothers and Sisters,' but for a younger audience. Teenagers will find story lines that affect them and adults will understand more fully the delicate balance between strict parenting and relating to your children.
My personal favourite Characters are Sarah Braverman, (obviously!)  and jabar (Crosbie's 5 year old son, who Crosbie never knew existed until the mother walked back into his life, unexpectedly). (Also side note for any GG fans - Luke's Daughter has a camio role in S2 episode 4, mirroring the Crosbie storyline).

Honestly my only criticism of this show is that it can be slow moving at times. As a trainee Psychologist, and a girl, I thoroughly enjoy all the conversations, the interactions and intricate dynamics of the inter-familial relationships. However I don't think these are enough to entertain the males in my life. In point of fact my boyfriend actually walked away when I tried to show him. He enjoyed the male bonding scenes over roof-top reconstruction, but once that was over, so was his interest. They say you cannot please all of the people all of the time and this is certainly true for Parenthood (2010). However for my tastes this show is just right!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mini Cookies

I've had a long week and next week is due to be even longer and harder. I think we all know how this feels. Well half way through the week I was looking through Tastespotting and I discovered this lovely blog, with it's beautiful pictures - 
These cookies reminded me of the delicious mini cookies I used to buy from Wawa, when I was living in PA, and thus the cravings began. The BF will attest to the fact that I spent the rest of the night moaning about how much i wanted these cookies, nothing, nothing looked as good as these cookies did. I knew then exactly what I would be baking for this week's blog.I adapted this recipe from the Chewy one cookie recipe of Alton Brown's Good Eats fame. I have done this recipe a few times and it needs special adaptation for size in my opinion. Hence my choices below

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

150g Butter melted
125g Demerara Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
200g Plain Flour/bread Flour(ala Alton Brown's Chewy one)
1tsp salt
2 egg yolks beaten with 2tsp of milk

Mix your melted butter and your sugar together until you have a paste consistency. Add the vanilla extract at this point. Then add your egg mixture, flour and salt slowly stirring constantly. Chill this mixture in the fridge for an hour.
Remove the mixture from the fridge and preheat your oven to 200'. Allow the mixture 10 mins or so to soften as the oven heats up and then use either a melon baller or your fingers to make tiny balls about half an inch in diameter. I put these balls directly onto the grease-lined cookie tray, without squashing them. As in my last cookie recipe this comes later.

The difficult part of this recipe is the cooking time. I could recommend 8 minutes but it all depends on your cookie size. You really, really have to watch these cookies and the minute they appear browned around the edges and solid in the middle take them out. Leave them on the cookie sheet for an extra 3-4 minutes and squash them down. After 5 minutes move them to a cooling rack.

Then enjoy them with milk, tea, or coffee.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sick day of sorts!!

I have had a rough couple of nights this week. In fact it'd be safe to say that for a number of reasons I haven't slept since Wednesday. This has left me exhausted and sore. Therefore try as I might to bake something today, my heart was not in it. Naturally this lead to a less than worthy recipe and another week without posting on Sunday. I suck. I did make some food today and it was not sweet or baked, but it is delicious.
I am therefore breaking from the sort lived tradition of baked goods on this blog and including one dinner recipe that I will be eating all winter and I hope to use as a cold and flu deterrent. Broccoli soup! I love this soup, I discovered it last year and ate it throughout the tough winter that we had here. This Autumn as the leaves are changing colour and the cold season begins I decided it was high time to resurrect the recipe and today I made my first batch.

The soup is simple and does not call for any milk or butter, yet has a deliciously creamy texture and taste.


2 Heads and stalks of broccoli
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 lg Sweet Potato
2 sticks of celery (optional)
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 Vegetable stock cube
2L Boiling water

Make up the stock as directed. Chop up all your vegetables. They need not be very small, this will all be blended later. Heat the onion and olive oil in a large pot. Add the rest of the ingredients with the stock and the rest of the boiling water. Cook this until the potato and the broccoli are soft. Then blend. Simples!

If you desire more seasoning, salt, pepper and other herbs of your choosing can be added. I prefer this to be slightly bland as I find the flavour of the garlic and the broccoli is enough. You can also add a drop of milk if you like. However this will shorten the shelf life and it really is not needed. The potato is enough here.
I will endeavor to post a proper baking recipe next week. But for the moment I will be enjoying my soup.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A mid-week recipe and a story from my childhood

I missed posting on Sunday due to work commitments. I did try to compose a television review but that was unrealistic because I had no research or preparation done. Therefore I broke my good streak of updating every Sunday.
Instead I made something mid-week, and then went to the park and did not watch tv.

This recipe was made out of neccessity because we had a whole box of pears that were gonna go

off and I felt the need to bake.

Since the peanut butter cup cupcakes we both decided that we needed something slightly more healthy. I had planned on making a walnut bread but decided to makes something to use up the pears.

When I was a teenager I fell off my bike pretty badly one day and broke my ankle. I was stuck in my house for weeks and my parents forced me to study. During this time I became obsessed with making miny versions of food, I ate my way through packs and packs of mini pizzas and also invented my original version of the single serving apple crumble. Needless to say I gained a few popunds during that time and now that I am a little older and a little more health conscious, I am revisiting the mini crumble and revamped it in a healthy way. (But trust me you wouldn't know from the taste!)

Pear and Almond Crumble

6 Pears, peeled and chopped
50g Ground almonds
1tbsp Brown Sugar, keep seperate

300g Jumbo Porridge Oats
50g Flaked almonds
2 tsp Agave nectar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup Milk
25g broken oatcake crackers(these are optional)
Icing Sugar to dust

1 Cup = 125g flour
(I say this because I know that I mix my measurement styles sometimes.)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Peel and chop your pears into cubes. Put these cubes into a bowl and then add 50g ground almonds and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Mix and put aside. Then mix together your porridge oats, flaked almonds and sugar and broken oatcakes if you choose. In a separate bowl mix your milk eggs and agave nectar. Mix these together. The mixture should be sticky but not wet.

Grease your silicone muffin cases or souffle dishs slightly with spray. Fill them half way with the pear mixture and press the crumble onto the top. Bake for 15-20mins or until the crumble is browned all over. Wait until they are cooled slightly and then dust with icing sugar.

This very quickly turns to this.....

Honeymoon first Stops: Boston and Las Vegas

We left London on A Saturday afternoon and flew to Boston, arriving in at 7.30pm Boston time. We somewhat regretted flying from London when ...