Food Frenzy Friday

One of the greatest parts of traveling anywhere, and really life in general, is food. And as I was scrolling through my camera roll, like any typical person, I have taken a ton of photos of my food and thought why not share the amazing experience that is food. It may sound a little strange but food really is an experience, especially when traveling! It is how one person can physically internalize a culture and a way of life. through this journey through even just a fraction of Europe, I have tried so many yummy new things, and none really restricted to jus the culture of England and France, but other ethnic foods that have crept their way into the places that I have traveled to. so join me on a walk down memory…of deliciousness
IMG_0010AND HOW ABOUT THAT AIRLINE FOOD….no really I have such low standards for food, as in I will eat nearly anything in front of me. Needless to say the flight over we were given dinner, and the highlight for me was the tomato and mozzarella as that stuff probably runs through my veins because it is my favorite. We also had chicken and rice, and desert as it is the greatest of nearly any meal was some chocolate cake. Now it all looked much better with the tops off, and I have to say that airline food has made strides in terms of taste, nutrition ehhh well you can’t control everything while your flying through the sky.
IMG_0022At the school I am staying at we are provided with breakfast and dinner. Breakfast usually consists of croissants and other pastries, yogurt, fruit, toast, roasted tomatoes, hash browns, eggs (poached, fried, and scrambled) sausage, and bacon (and their bacon is our ham). My usual consists of two poached eggs on wheat toast (which they call brown) with a yogurt, sometimes oatmeal (called porridge here), and a bowl of assorted fruit. My favorite is probably the fruit bowls I make for myself every morning, and of course I let the inner Pinterest-er inside me free a I always make it look pleasing to the eye.
One of the first days here, my new found friends and I explored around the town of Oxford to get the lay of the land.We
IMG_0014noticed a restaurant that had bathtubs for seats, and this became known as the ‘bath tub place’, and needless to say we had to give it a try. Upon arrival we discovered that it was a Thai restaurant (which is actually very popular in Oxford). My friend and I wanted to get a taste of a few different highs rather than just one big meal, which resulted in this fun sampler. It included chicken spring rolls, honey pork, salt and pepper squids, and fish cakes, with some awesome sauce (which I mean not only as a compliment but also for lack of the actual name of the sauce ;). Whenever I go somewhere new I always try to make a point o frying something new, and at this restaurant I definitely went outside my comfort zone and was rewarded!
IMG_0012Also in the little town of Oxford (and most likely in Europe in general) on the go themed foods usually come in terms of sandwiches, so needless to say I have had quite a few…and enjoyed every single one. One of the best however I have to say was one that is in a local market of Oxford, called the Covered Market, which is full of cute little shops that satisfy nearly anything you could be shopping for from flowers to food. At this coffee themed cafe I had a bacon (ham), avocado, and chicken mayo (chicken salad)  sandwich that was toasted to perfection. It also came with a side of rocket salad, which is simply lettuce, but for some reasons, an awesome one I’m sure, they call it rocket. (it just sounds cool and I love it)
Now that we are on the topic of the Covered Market, I must of course mention a near landmark of Oxford, which is MooMoo’s. I had the benefit that a friend of mine traveled to Oxford and gave me a list of the must go places, and this IMG_0013one was near the top, so I gave ti a try. Although it is small ti is mighty, mighty as in you can create your own milkshake with over 300 different add-in options. It is two window trailer looking place that makes possibly the best milkshakes I have ever had, which is a high standard considering I am the queen of sweets. I have so tried Snickers and banana, as well as Oreo. (Others on my list to try before I leave are marshmallow and apple pie…and I am also quite curious about skittles flavor, I will let you know how those go)
One of the last that I all cover in this post (worry not here is part two to come 🙂 is Hazzan’s. He is listed on Buzzfeed’s
IMG_0015must try, but of course I only knew this after I had tried it, so I did feel a bit trendy I suppose. Anywho it is a simple food truck that comes out in front of our campus from 6p.m. to 3a.m, which is prime for late night munchies. My personally favorite is the lamb kebab with garlic mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, and the occasional side of onion rings. Either way it is an amazing guilty pleasure, and especially after a 11 mile day spent in London it was the perfect end as it served as the food component to a late night picnic dinner on the lovely college lawn.
All this talk of food has made me quite hungry, and ironically enough I am going to have some Hazzan’s right now, but I will be sure to share the rest of my camera roll with you all next week. I hope your Friday is full of FANTASTIC food and feel free to share ti below because I love to read and hear about food just as much as I love to eat it! 🙂
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Caul Me Crazy Cauliflower Pizza

Caul me crazy (and bad at jokes) but I am obsessed with Cauliflower pizza. I saw a recipe online and heard cauliflower2recommendations from friends, so I decided to give it a try. Now the third time I made it was arguably the best as you learn as you go.

Ingredients

1 whole head of cauliflower, cut into florets (for the non chef extraordinaire like myself this just means cut it into tiny pieces by the stem but leave the ‘tree looking part’ together)

2 eggs

¼ cup of parmesan cheese (I say the more cheese the better it tastes )

1 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp of Italian seasoning

salt & pepper as desired

Recipe

  1. Use a food processor to finely chop the florets of cauliflower. If you do not have a food processor like myself, simply put all the cauliflower into a pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and let sit as the cauliflower softness. This usually takes about 20 minutes for me, but test the softness of the cauliflower as necessary.

  2. Next place the cauliflower in a dish towel and ring out all the excess water. (In my case I had to mash the cauliflower first and then ring it out because I didn’t have a food processor. The softer the cauliflower the easier the abashing will be, and this can be done with a potato masher)

  3. Once DRY AS POSSIBLE, transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients. once combined spread across a parchment lined baking sheet (or a baking sheet heavily covered in PAM or other non stick cooking spray)

  4. Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, then add topping and bake for another 8 minutes or as desired!

So along with the recipe I have included the holy grail of tips about this dish: make sure you get as much water out of the cauliflower as possible. I mean when you think that it is all gone and as dry as can be ring it out again. I apologize for being so MIA recently but soon enough I will be back in full swing! Let me know what you think of this recipe below!

*disclaimer: pizza may come out in all shapes and sizes but all are delicious! aka mine came out in a terrible oval and one even triangle like.

OMG New Breakfast Favorite

Alright so I have discovered this amazing and super easy combination for breakfast…or really any time of the day, that is absolutely delicious! I have been having this as breakfast for the past week and a half with apple slices! All it is 3 parts non fat plain Greek yogurt with one part peanut butter. Now I know this isn’t an exact science of measurement but it all depends on the taste you prefer! I enjoy having more yogurt than peanut butter, and plus a little peanut butter goes a long way! Mix it all together and dip apples slices, or really any fruit you wish, and enjoy!

This is an awesome breakfast or even snack because it gets you a serving of fruit (apple) as well as protein, which comes from the peanut butter and the yogurt!

So Obsessed Saturday: Avocado Please

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Can you ever have enough avocado?! I mean really I have probably gone through 5 this week…so I guess you could say I am obsessed. There are tons of uses as well as tons of benefits!

Here are some avocado fun facts:

They contain more potassium than bananas!

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Avocado is a high fat food! WAIT WHAT Emily why would I want to eat something that is high in fat. This is a huge misconception because not all fats are the same! Avocado is high in fat but they are the good fats! Monounsaturated fatty acids and the main source is oleic acid which makes up 70% of olive oil, and is what gives olive oil its nutrient value.

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Avocados are very high in antioxidants and also help you absorb antioxidants from other plant foods! Antioxidants are very important to your body and keep a lot of it in check, avocado is high in certain ones that are great for your eye sight!

They are packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which will help you stay full longer and in turn can help you lose weight if that’s your goal!

I have been using avocados a million ways this week, and I don’t think that that is much of an understatement as they are so versatile!

Salad: You can top your salad with chunks or slices. My favorite has been chicken, spinach, tomatoes, or whatever other veggies I have on hand mixed with avocado and some olive oil. The olive oil adds flavor and the avocado adds creaminess and removes the need for a really heavy dressing!

salad

Instead of Mayo: As mentioned before avocado is very creamy and can take the place of something else less healthy such as mayonnaise. You can mash up the avocado and spread it on bread for your sandwich, or I have even mixed it with chicken instead of mayonnaise to create a different type of chicken salad. (It may even be good with eggs for eggs salad…might have to try that one!)

avocadspreadGuacamole: This is quite the obvious one as avocado is the main ingredient in this very tasty dip. You can really get creative with guac because you can add really whatever you like. I like mine with lime, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper, not a fan of spicy. Guacamole is usually eaten with tortilla chips but you can also use veggies to dip instead for a slightly healthier option!

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So Obsessed Saturday: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I also have the greatest cookie mug in the entire world.

It’s Nemo from Finding Nemo. (be jealous)

It's Nemo from Finding Nemo.

I also have the greatest cookie mug in the entire world.

This post is happening for many reasons. Well to start off I gave up sweets for the 40 days of lent. Now that I am home I find it only right that I get to make my absolute favorite homemade chocolate chip cookies. Which brings me to my other reason. I love working out and I love being healthy, but whats really healthy is balance. It is so important not to deprive yourself of things just because they aren’t the best things in the world for you. It’s hard to be successful in being healthy if you don’t let yourself have a cheat every once in a while. Cookies are good for the soul. And not only do I love to eat these but I also love to bake them, or really anything (I love baking).

My cookie baking obsession began with two of my life long best friends as we would bake cookies AT LEAST once a week in the Summer together. However now that we are away at school, it is our bonding activity when we come back, jut bake cookies together. My friendship with these girls has grown so far as to the point that I can literally walk into either of their houses and just raid the cookie jar without them even being home and such behavior will be construed as normal. So I guess you could say chocolate chip cookies are more than just cookies, they’re our greatest sign of friendship.

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So here I have decided to share with you my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I hope you enjoy it and love it as much as I do!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (secret: melt it all the way) 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease your cookie sheet or cover it with parchment paper (I have this super cool one that doesn’t need to be so if you don’t have one totally get one (: )
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. (Sometimes I make the cookies smaller because then you get more, they last longer then haha)
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Put your phone away and enjoy with close friends and a cold glass of milk.