Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pizzaaa!!! - UPDATE

Paul and I just made THE BEST pizza ever.
What made it so amazing?!
We added chopped olives TO THE DOUGH.

See the olives in there?

We made the dough using the Pizza Dough recipe from the previous post, but after the 10 minutes of resting, we kneaded in chopped black olives, then let the dough rest for 10 more minutes.
And OH MAN was that extra kneading and 10 minutes of waiting worth it. good...

Monday, May 23, 2011


Paul and I made pizza from scratch (dough and all!) last weekend!
And it was GREAT!

It was actually our second attempt.
The first pizza was only alright, and we KNEW we could make it better.
So, last Saturday we made a few modifications to the recipe and...SUCCESS!

Before baking...

And after...

Our pizza tasted EXTRA delicious because...
1. We MADE the dough!
2. We chose exactly what toppings we wanted.
I went for a patchwork quilt of toppings - half with pesto, half with tomato sauce, and then some squares with olives and some with just cheese (mozzerella AND cheddar - oooh baby!)

Pizza Dough
adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast with warm water. Stir until dissolved.
2. Add sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in olive oil.
4. Add flour and salt. Stir vigorously/knead with hands until fully combined.
(If the dough isn't coming together, add a little bit more olive oil)
5. Form into a ball and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
7. Sprinkle flour onto a baking sheet (or two) and press dough into a thin layer (about half a centimeter).
8. Bake dough until golden on the edges and the centre, about 15 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and top with desired toppings.
10. Return to oven and bake until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.
11. Om nom nom.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Steph the Groupie

On Thursday a bunch of went to see Bedouin Soundclash!!!
The concert was AMAZING!
We were RIGHT at the front and I felt like such a groupie, oogling at Jay the whole night.

Aaand, the best part of the night?
I got to meet the band!!!

(It was technically my second time meeting them, but that was a couple of years ago and they didn't remember me (I'm not surprised), so it was like meeting them all over again!)

Paul and I went really early - like 15 minutes before the doors opened (which isn't really that early, but just seemed early because there was no one else there). 
We were loitering around trying to decide which door to wait at when I spotted them walking down the street...
"Paul! Oh my god! That's them!! That's them right there!!"
"Go talk to them!"
"What?! Now?! But..."
And then he pushed me and I awkwardly ran after them going "Hey! Hey!"
They turned around and I talked to them for a little about how they played at Crofton and how I'm from Vancouver but in Leeds on an exchange and other chitchat.
Paul stayed back while I ran up to them, but then came over and talked to them too.
They were SO cool and super nice.

I was so proud of myself for running after them!
And for going early - see, being crazy about punctuality does pay off!

Anyway, the concert was SO good.
They were really great live, it was such a fun night :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Exams :(

I have my first exam tomorrow.
This is how I feel...

PS: I have recently discovered my talent for drawing stick figures in Paint.
PPS: Paint is also a very fun form of procrastination.
PPPS: Alright, I'll get back to studying for my Climate Change Science exam now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Date!

Today Paul and I went on a date!
We went to Casa Mia, an Italian restaurant located not too far from campus.
We decided to go there because (a) we like Italian food, and (b) we got a 2-for-1 coupon from a bag of chips - yay! for coupons!

I had suuuper good fettucini with mushroom cream sauce - mmm...cream sauce...
And Paul had spaghetti and meatballs.
And, since we had our handy dandy coupon, we figured we'd get dessert as well.
I had a lemon tart, which was a bit custardy, making it even better in my books, and Paul had tiramisu.

I didn't take any pictures because I wasn't planning on blogging about our meal.
But then I got bored of studying and decided I would do something other than look at food blogs.

So, since I didn't take any photos, I thought I would draw you a picture instead...

Om nom nom nom nom.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Ultimate Distraction: The Internet

Studying for exams is taking a toll on my sanity.
Thank goodness for the Internet.
In addition to reviewing Climate Change Science and Ecological Economics, I've been perusing my favourite websites and blogs.

These two are almost constantly open...
And I've even stumbled across a couple of cool YouTube channels...

Check them out if you're in the mood to look at pictures of food or listen to some cool bands!
Alright, back to work for me :(

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Chocolate Monster

    Seeing as it's exam time, I have a pretty good excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate. And, seeing as I'm in the UK and they have crazy chocolate bars that we don't have back home, I think I have two very good justifications for holding a little Chocolate Taste Test and release my inner CHOCOLATE MONSTER!!!

    This is what I've tried so far since arriving in January:

    Double Decker
    A layer of rice krispies cereal topped by a layer of nougat, then covered in chocolate.
    Rating: SO good

    Terry's Chocolate Orange Bar
    The name says it all.
    Rating: SO good

    Caramel/nougat filling with a few pieces of biscuit, then covered in chocolate.
    (I couldn't really figure it out - caramel flavoured nougat? Nougat flavoured caramel?)
    It's basically the lovechild of a Mars Bar and a Twix that grew up to be a giant.
    Boost is a BIG chocolate bar.
    Rating: SO good

    Kit Kat Dark
    Like the original, but BETTER.
    Rating: SO good.

    Just GIANT brown M&Ms.
    Rating: Alright

    Curly Wurly

    A weirdly shaped thin layer of very chewy caramel covered in chocolate.
    Rating: Alright

    Galaxy Caramel
    Just like a Caramilk, but the caramel wasn't as sickly sweet and it's shaped in two long sticks that breaks off into long rectangles instead of squares.
    Rating: Alright

    A stick of plain chocolate formed by all these weird folded layers, then covered in chocolate to keep it all together.
    Rating: Boring

    Like an Aero, but with smaller and fewer bubbles, and in one long skinny bar instead of breakable pieces.
    Rating: Boring

    Just frog-shaped milk chocolate.
    Rating: Boring

    Just plain old milk chocolate buttons, but in cute packaging with the chocolate buttons as the cartoon animals' eyes.
    Rating: Boring

    A little stick of overly sweet fudge.
    Rating: Yucky

    (Warning, a rant is about to take place)
    I've been DYING to try a Yorkie to spite its sassy packaging that says "It's Not For Girls" and has  little girl cartoon with a cute purse in a crossed-out red circle.
    So today I finally bought one. I was so excited to try it, I opened it on the walk home.
    OH MAN.
    I was SO disappointed.
    Beneath that cheeky wrapper was nothing other than plain milk chocolate.
    That was it!!!
    I haven't been this disappointed since I was like 6 and I opened a Christmas present thinking it was going to be the Pound Puppies I was longing for, but instead it was a box of underwear :(
    The only remotely different thing about it was that the squares were HUGE.
    But that wasn't even a good thing because they were so big I had trouble eating my chocolate.

    Ok, I'm done ranting now.
    Basically, don't buy Yorkies.
    They're a let down.
    Rating: SO disappointed

    And, the chocolate bars I have yet to try:
    • Toffee Crisp
    • Starbar
    • Big Race
    • Picnic
    • Lion
    • Topic
    • Drifter
    • Time Out
    • Munchies

    ...looks like I'll have to go on a Chocolate Detox when I get home...

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011


    Bruges (or Brugge) was next on our European Adventure!

    Bruges is a really cute Medieval town - but apparently all the Medieval architecture I saw wasn't even original! Lame.

    Bruge was nice, but there wasn't really much to it.
    There were lots of chocolate shops and lace stores, but that's about it.
    Oh, and about a bajillion tourists - primarily in big groups of senior citizens.

    I did eat lots of chocolate in Bruges, which was fun.
    But in all honesty, the chocolate was overrated.
    Fancy chocolates in Beligum taste just like fancy chocolates back home...

    We also went on a Quest for the Best Fries because fries originate from Belgium and I was so looking forward to eating AMAZING fries since the original is always better.
    But sadly, our Quest was unsuccessful, only mediocre fries were to be found :(
    Bruges, you let me down.

    Aside from eat fries, chocolate, and waffles...

    We went on a really cool tour of De Halve Maan brewery.
    It's a super old family-run brewery, and the only brewery left in Central Bruges, or something like that.
    Part of the tour included going to their rooftop deck, which had a great view of the city.

    And then we went to a cathedral and saw a Michelangelo sculpture.

    And to the Begijnhofs, a special type of religious community.

    You have to be really quiet in the Begijnhofs and not step on razor sharp grass

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Steph's Quest for Banana Bread

    I had a serious craving for banana bread a while ago.
    So, I set out on a Quest for Banana Bread.

    First stop: the cafeteria.
    They sells lots of different kinds of muffins - double chocolate, raspberry and white chocolate, lemon poppy seed, etc, etc.
    But do they sell banana muffins?

    Alright, that's fine, I'll just have to think outside the box...
    I was SO sure they would have it and I was even willing to pay the obscene price, especially once converted back to dollars, to get my fix.
    But, no!

    I then went to the grocery store.
    I was getting desperate at this point and was prepared to settle for artificial banana flavouring, if I had to.
    But again, no!

    Sadly my Quest did not end successfully.
    I guess they don't have banana bread in the UK :(

    The efforts of my Quest were avenged today because I had some free time in between studying (or 'revising', as they say here) and made banana bread - finally!

    Banana Bread

    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup oil
    1/4 cup plain yogurt
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    3 mashed bananas

    1. Beat sugar and eggs
    2. Add oil and yogurt
    3. Add flour and baking soda
    4. Add bananas
    5. Pour into prepared loaf pan
    6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour
    7. Om nom nom

    Monday, May 9, 2011


    Alas! Some photos from my European Adventure!

    My time in Amsterdam can basically be summed up in four words:
    cheese, bikes, tulips, and fries.

    Before going to Amsterdam I had no idea there were so many different types of Gouda.
    We ate SO much cheese. And it was SO good.

    There are SO many bikes in Amsterdam, it's amazing!
    There are bike lanes everywhere!
    There are even bike parking lots!
    We went on a countryside bike tour, which was super fun - not just because we got to experience Amsterdam's bike culture and see the countryside, but because I got to ride a super cute blue cruiser bike!

    My parents and I went to the Kukenhof Garden and OH MAN I have never seen so many different types of tulips. They were beautiful.
    We also went to the tulip fields, which were next to the Garden.
    It was crazy to see fields and fields of tulips, it was like a sea of colour.

    I ate the BEST fries EVER at Albert Cuyp Market.
    They were amazing.
    Crispy on the outside. Soft on the inside. Perfectly salted.
    SO, SO good.

    Stephanie the Fry Monster!

    And some random pictures...

    The suuuper steep stairs to our apartment

    The Heineken Brewery


    aka: THE most delicious cookie ever

    Aaand THE coolest library EVER!