Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry After-Christmas!

Well, folks, I've been on a bit of a holiday hiatus, but I'm back now, and I have another delicious recipe to share. This Boxing Day, my mother invited my father's extended family over for a Leftovers Party. It was a brilliant idea because we got to eat all new things without actually having to make new dishes AND now I don't have to eat the same leftovers for the next week. Because they're gone. Seriously. Boxing Day Leftovers Party. Try it.

My father's family are very talented in the kitchen, so there were lots of wonderful of things to eat that day, but for me, it was all overshadowed by the dessert my cousin Shawna brought: Cookie Dough Dip with apples. This stuff is incredibly good. There's no actual cookie dough in it, so there's no concern about contracting salmonella, but it's so tasty you wouldn't know the difference. She was kind enough to leave us her recipe, and now I share it with you, dear reader. That's my Christmas gift to you.

Cookie Dough Dip


Ingredients:
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits

Instructions:
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Serve with chocolate graham crackers or apple wedges.

It's that simple! Shawna recommends eating it with graham crackers or apple wedges. I recommend eating it with a spoon!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in Florida. Jealous?

Sorry it's been a while since I last updated. I'm back in Florida, folks, and it is glorious. You can tell it's almost Christmas because of the penguin wearing a Santa hat!


And I don't want to hear anyone complain that "it doesn't feel like Christmas" when it's 80° outside (~26° C). You want it to feel like Christmas? Drink some eggnog. I will take warmth tempered by a cool breeze over battling wind storms in Edinburgh any day.

Speaking of eggnog, I made some this weekend. It was a smash hit at the party I attended. Below you will find my recipe so you can try it for yourself. That way, you can enjoy a delicious Christmas beverage no matter how many miles per hour the wind is blowing.



Kimber's Eggnog Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 cups of light whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (separated)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Alcohol (optional)

Instructions:
  1. In a saucepan, mix milk, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon and using the lowest heat setting, slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep the milk from burning or developing a film.
  2. In a large bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Slowly, SLOWLY, whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture. This part is key, because if you add the hot milk too fast, the eggs will cook and you will end up with eggnog that has the texture of scrambled eggs. The way that works best for me is to take a ladle-full of milk, dribble it into the eggs while whisking, and repeat until they are completely combined. It takes a bit of patience, but it makes all the difference.
  4. Pour milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking constantly.
  5. Ok, here the recipe from which I have adapted mine says to let the mixture cool for an hour. I didn't do that, and my eggnog turned out fine. I imagine if you did let it cool, it would thicken a bit more. You can try it if you want, but if you're pressed for time, this step can be skipped.
  6. Add cream, 2 tsp of vanilla, and nutmeg.
  7. Refrigerate overnight.
  8. Add alcohol if you want. I use spiced rum.
  9. Serve.
  10. Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Christmas in Edinburgh University Housing!

Well, kids, the papers are done, the laundry is being washed, and the packing is about to begin. That can only mean one thing: it's almost Christmas! I head home tomorrow, and I cannot wait, but I can't neglect to tell you about some of the Christmas festivities that are going on here in Edinburgh. The first I want to mention is our dorm Christmas party. A couple of weeks ago, our house warden organized a lovely little get-together to decorate the house common room. It came complete with mulled wine, mince pies,


and a British Christmas tradition that, until now, I only knew from Harry Potter: Christmas crackers!


For those of you who have never encountered Christmas crackers, here's the deal: two people each hold one end of this paper device and pull. As it comes apart, it makes a loud "cracking" sound, and goodies fly out! Huzzah! According to my RA, you usually get some kind of toy and a hat. Here's what I got:


You can see that I am wearing a very stylish paper crown. I also got a toy dinosaur and a piece of paper with a joke on it.


DE-lightful. By the way, did you know that in pre-historic times, there were forests of giant pies? 


Michael Crichton isn't going to tell you that kind of stuff.

Well, that's all for this post. But fear not! I have plenty more Edinburgh Christmas festivities to tell you about when I return to the States. So stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let's mock Twilight!

Because I don't have time to write actual content today, here are a couple examples of other people on the Internet mocking that most awful of franchises, Twilight. Enjoy!




This is a bit long, but totally worth reading. It helps if you watch the video first so that you can use the appropriate K Stew voice when reading it:

If Twilight 4 Was 10 Times Shorter and 100 Times More Honest

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hockey! What?

Despite the relative success of the Tampa Bay Lightning, I would hazard a guess that most Floridians are not big into the hockey. You see, we lack what you might call "cold" or "ice." Sure, hockey is usually played inside (I guess), and we certainly possess the technology to create an indoor hockey... rink? Yeah, rink, definitely rink. Not a field? No, no, definitely rink. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, hockey as a sport is not really part of our culture in Florida. It's just too hot. I mean, I've seen the Mighty Ducks. It looks great, but I can't say I've ever been to a professional match.

Until now! Spurred on by a pretty good Groupon deal, my friends and I (among us, two Canadians) decided to go see our very own Edinburgh Capitals (very clever name) take on the Hull Stingrays. Ooh! 

Edinburgh Capitals (before the game)
Now, I admit I was a bit skeptical at first. For one thing, you go inside and it's colder in there than it is outside. What's up with that? For another thing, this particular rink did not sell or permit alcohol. Listen, I admit to being a bit ignorant about this sport, but I was led to believe that hockey is all about getting drunk and beating people up. Right? What's more, as my Canadian friends informed me, British hockey is tame compared to Canadian hockey. The first couple of periods (look at me using hockey terminology) were pretty slow, but by the third period things had heated up! Metaphorically speaking; it was still very cold. 

See, we are happy, but also quite bundled.
In the end, I enjoyed this hockey business. I wish more of the players had beaten each other up, but despite my urgent calls for them to throw down their sticks, all sticks remained in hands. Even so, it was a good experience and one that I would probably repeat if given the opportunity. Who knew? 




 We even got our picture taken with the mascot! And that's always fun.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

End of Term Madness (and a funny picture)

I'm trying desperately not to do work right now. I have two 4000-essays due within the next two weeks. The first is due Thursday; the second is due the following Thursday, but I'm leaving Wednesday, which means it's due Tuesday. I was going to write a longer post about my fragile and weakening mental state right now, but I'm sure you all can imagine, and I really should get back to writing.

But first, to lift your spirits and mine, check out this flyer that was on display on a bulletin board in the basement of one of my academic buildings:


Rubber duckies who are into bondage. Classic. I wonder if they get university funding.

Thursday, December 1, 2011