Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cooking New Recipes

I love cooking, but because I'm usually quite busy, I often end up cooking the same old recipes from my trusty recipe book. I make stuff that's quick and tasty, so that I can have a warm meal and not spend hours in front of the stove. However, I like playing with new recipes as well when I have time, so I was looking forward to the holidays as a time when I can try out some recipes that I got online.

This time I tried a bunch of recipes from a really nice cooking blog called smitten kitchen:
- The clementine cake, which sounded weird at first when I read I had to boil clementines, but ended up being quite moist and delicious: . One advice from me is to either buy organic clementines and boil them with the peel and everything, or otherwise peel them and then boil them. It's just that regular clementines have all kinds of nasty chemicals in their skin, so I wouldn't recommend using it in your cake if that is the case.
- Red pepper cream soup:  My recommendation for this recipe is to serve the soup warm and sprinkle it with crumbled feta cheese and freshly chopped parsley instead of using creme fraiche.
I have my eye on several other recipes from this lovely blog, but I'm not sure I'll have enough time to try them before the new year comes.

I also tried two pancake recipes from Martha Stewart, because I was craving some American-style thick pancakes. Both turned out quite delicious, so I'll be making them again.
- Cottage cheese pancakes with lemon:
- Chocolate-pecan pancakes: Because it's not very easy to find pecans in Bulgaria, I used walnuts instead.

All in all, the internet is full of great cooking blogs and recipe websites, and I like to explore. Four new recipes is not bad for this holiday, and hopefully I'll be able to try more new stuff once I finish my degree and have more free time in the evenings and weekends.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Art for Christmas

My friend Lilly lives with her boyfriend, and last time I was at their place I noticed that they didn't have any artwork. They also had some beautiful blank walls that were just crying to be filled, so I decided to paint a couple of abstract pieces for Christmas this year. Lilly really likes red, and their couch is a reddish-brick color, so I decided on a red theme, and here is what I came up with. Admittedly, the photo is probably terrible, since I only remembered that I hadn't photographed the pieces two minutes before I had to leave for their place and give them their gift, so I just clicked a photo for my archives without much regard for removing reflections from the glass and so on. Maybe after they put them up I can ask them to photograph them again.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter Wonderland

After submitting the last two papers for the quarter last Saturday morning, Pavel and I drove to Borovets, a ski resort an hour away from Sofia, to see some friends who were there for the weekend. It had been snowing the week before, and it started to snow again once we were there, so it was quite the winter wonderland. The hotel where our friends were staying had a very nice fireplace in the lobby, and we sat there for hours eating delicious cherry pie and scrumptious chocolate cake, enjoying the warmth, crackling fire, and the snowy views. It made me want to take a few days off, go to a place like that, and enjoy some lazy times with a book. Pavel would say I'm wacky to be staying in when there are those great slopes to conquer, but I am quite content to stay in and chill while he and the others are skiing. I'm just not much for sports in the cold outdoors. Except perhaps ice skating - I actually love that!
Anyway, here are some photos of the snowy trees. I hope we have a snowy Christmas in the city as well.

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